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Edited by Edward Lee Thorndike, Ph.D., and 
F. E. Beddard, M.A., F.R.S. 

1. The Study of Man. By A. C. Haddon. 

2. The Groundwork of Science. By St George Mivart. 

3. Rivers of North America. By Israel C. Russell. 

4. Earth Sculpture, or; The Origin of Land Forms. By James 


5. Volcanoes ; Their Structure and Significance. By T. G. 


6. Bacteria. By George Newman. 

7. A Book of Whales. By F. E. Beddard. 

8. Comparative Physiology of the Brain, etc. By Jacques Lobb. 

9. The Stars. By Simon Newcomb. 

10. The Basis of Social Relations. By Daniel G. Brinton. 

11. Experiments on Animals. By Stephen Paget. 

12. Infection and Immunity. By George M. Sternberg. 

13. Fatigue. By A. Mosso. 

14. Earthquakes. By Clarence E. Dutton. 

15. The Nature of Man. By Elie Metchnikoff. 

16. Nervous and Mental Hygiene in Health and Disease. By 

August Forel. 

17. The Prolongation of Life. By Elie Metchnikoff. 

18. The Solar System. By Chart es Lake Poor. 

19. Heredity. By J. Arthur Thompson, ALA. 
ao. Climate. By Robert DeCoukcy Ward. 

21. Age, Growth, and Death. P.y Charles S. Minot. 

12. The Interpretation of Nature. By C. Lloyd Morgan. 

23. Mosquito Life. By E.elyn Groesbreck Mitchell. 

34. Thinking, Peeling, Doing. By E. W. Sckipturk. 

95. The World's Gold. By L. de Launav. 

26. The Interpretation of Radium. By F. Soddy. 

27. Criminal Man. By Cesare Lombroso. 

For list of works in preparation see end of this volume 

"Ebe Science Series 













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19 II 

Copyright, ign 


Ube Iftnfcfterbocfter ipresa, mew Korft 




The Born Criminal ...... 3 

Classical and modern schools of penal jurisprudence — 
Physical anomalies of the born criminal — Senses and func- 
tions — Psychology — Intellectual manifestations — The 
criminal in proverbial sayings. 


The Born Criminal and his Relation to Moral 

Insanity AND Epilepsy . . . . . 52 

Identity of born criminals and the morally insane — Analogy 
of physical and psychic characters, origin and develop- 
ment — Epilepsy — Multiformity of disease — Equivalence 
of certain forms to criminality — Physical and psychic 
characters — Cases of moral insanity with latent epileptic 


The Insane Criminal . . . . . . 74 

General forms of criminal insanity, imbecility, melancholia, 
general paralysis, dementia, monomania — Physical and 
psychic characters of the mentally deranged — Special 
forms of criminal insanity — Inebriate lunatics from in- 
ebriation — Physical and psychic characters— Specific 
crimes — Epileptic lunatics — Manifestations — Hysterical 
lunatics — Physical and functional characters — Psychology. 




CrIMINALOIDS . . . . . . . 100 

Psychology — Tardy adoption of criminal career — Repent- 
ance — Confession — Moral sense and affections — Habitual 
criminals — Juridical criminals — Criminals of passion. 


Origin and Causes of Crime .... 125 

Atavistic origin of crime — Criminality in children— Patho- 
logical origin of crime — Direct and indirect heredity — 
Illnesses, intoxications, and traumatism — Alcoholism — 
Social causes of crime — Education and environment — 
Atmospheric and climatic influences — Density of popula- 
tion — Imitation — Immigration — Prison life — Economic 
conditions — Sex — Age. 


The Prevention of Crime . . . . . 153 

Preventive institutions for children and young people — 
Homes for orphans and destitute children — Colonies for 
unruly youths — Institutions for assisting adults — Salva- 
tion Army. 


Methods for the Cure and Repression of Crime 175 

Juvenile offenders — Children's Courts — Institutions for 
female offenders— Minor offenders, criminals of passion, 
political offenders, and criminaloids — Probation system 
and indeterminate sentence — Reformatories — -Peniten- 
tiaries — -Institutes for habitual criminals — Penal colonies — 
Institutions for born criminals and the morally insane — 
Asylums for insane criminals — Capital punishment — 




Examination of Criminals . . . . .219 

Antecedents and psychology — Methods of testing intelli- 
gence and emotions — Morbid phenomena — Speech, me- 
mory, and handwriting — Clothing — Physical examination 
— Tests of sensibility and senses — Excretions — Table of 
anthropological examination of criminals and the insane. 


Summary of Chief Forms of Criminality to Aid 
IN Distinguishing between Criminals and Luna- 
tics AND IN Detecting Simulations of Insanity. 258 

A few cases showing the practical appHcation of criminal 


Works of Cesare Lombroso (Briefly Summarised) 

/. The Man of Genius, . . . . . .283 

//. Criminal Man. . . . . , . 288 

III. The Female Offender. (In Collaboration with Gug- 

lielmo Ferrero.) 

IV. Political Crime. (In Collaboration with Rodolfo 


XI. Recent Discoveries in Psychiatry and Criminal 
Anthropology and the Practical Application 
OF these Sciences 



V. Too Soon: A Criticism of the New Italian Penal Code. 298 

VI. Prison Palimpsests: Studies in Prison Inscriptions. ^oo 

VII. Ancient and Modern Crimes 

VIII. Diagnostic Methods of Legal Psychiatry. 

IX. Anarchists. 

X. Lectures on Legal Medicine 





Bibliography of the Chief Works of Cesare 

LoMBROSO ........ 310 

Index . . . . . . • • • 3^5 











FossETTE Occipital . , . . . 6 

Skull Formation . . . . . 1 1 

Skull Formation . . . . . ii 

Head of Criminal ..... i6 

Fig. 5. Head of Criminal ..... 16 

Fig. 6. Layers of the Frontal Region. . . 23 

Fig. 7. Figures Made in Prison. Murder of a 

Sleeping Victim .... 32 

Fig. 8. Crucifix Poignard ..... 32 

Fig. 9. Water-Jugs . . . . . . 42 

Fig. 10. Drawings in Script. Discovered by De 
Blasio . . . . . 

Fig. II. Alphabet. Discovered by De Blasio 

Fig. 12. Boy Morally Insane 

Fig. 13. Boy Morally Insane 

Fig. 14. An Epileptic Boy .... 




Fig. 15. Fernando. Epileptic .... 60 

Fig. 16. Italian Criminal. A Case of Alcoholism 82 

Fig. 17. Signatures of Criminals . . .163 

Fig. 18. Criminal Girl . . . . . -114 

Fig. 19. The Brigand Salomone . . . .114 

Fig. 20. Brigand Gasparone . . . . .166 

Fig. 21. Brigand Caserio ..... 120 

Fig. 22. Terra - cotta Bowls. Designed by a 

Criminal . . . . . .134 

Fig. 23. Art Production from Prison . . .136 

Fig. 24. A Combat between Brigands and Gen- 
darmes. Designed by a Criminal 

Fig. 25. A Volumetric Glove 

Fig. 26. Head of a Criminal. Epileptic 

Fig. 27. Anton Otto Krauser. Apache 

Fig. 28. A Criminal's Ear . . . 

Fig. 29. Anthropometer .... 

Fig. 30. Craniograph Anfossi . . . 

Fig. 31. Pelvimeter ..... 

Fig. 32. Diagram of Skull 






Fig. 33. Diagram of Skull . , 


Fig. 35. Algometer .... 

Fig. 36. Campimeter of Landolt (Modified) 

Fig. 37. Diagram Showing Normal Vision 

Fig. 38. Dynamometer ..... 

Fig. 59. Head of an Italian Criminal . 






[Professor Lombroso was able before his death to give his personal 
attention to the volume prepared by his daughter and collaborator, Gina 
Lombroso Ferrero (wife of the distinguished historian), in which is pre- 
sented a summary of the conclusions reached in the great treatise by Lom- 
broso on the causes of criminality and the treatment of criminals. The 
preparation of the introduction to this volume was the last literary work 
which the distinguished author found it possible to complete during his 
final illness.] 

I T will, perhaps, be of interest to American readers 
of this book, in which the ideas of the Modern 
Penal School, set forth in my work. Criminal 
Man, have been so pithily summed up by my 
daughter, to learn how the first outlines of this 
science arose in my mind and gradually took shape 
in a definite work — how, that is, combated by some, 
the object of almost fanatical adherence on the part 
of others, especially in America, where tradition has 
little hold, the Modern Penal School came into being. 
On consulting my memory and the documents 
relating to my studies on this subject, I find that its 
two fundamental ideas- — that, for instance, which 


claims as an essential point the study not of crime in 
the abstract, but of the criminal himself, in order 
adequately to deal with the evil effects of his wrong- 
doing, and that which classifies the congenital crimi- 
nal as an anomaly, partly pathological and partly 
atavistic, a revival of the primitive savage — did not 
suggest themselves to me instantaneously under 
the spell of a single deep impression, but were the 
offspring of a series of impressions. The slow and 
almost unconscious association of these first vague 
ideas resulted in a new system which, influenced 
by its origin, has preserved in all its subsequent 
developments the traces of doubt and indecision, the 
marks of the travail which attended its birth. 

The first idea cam.e to me in 1864, when, as an 
army doctor, I beguiled my ample leisure with a 
series of studies on the Italian soldier. From the 
very beginning I was struck by a characteristic that 
distinguished the honest soldier from his vicious 
comrade : the extent to which the latter was tattooed 
and the indecency of the designs that covered his 
body. This idea, however, bore no fruit. 

The second inspiration came to me when on one 
occasion, amid the laughter of my colleagues, I sought 
to base the study of psychiatry on experimental 
methods. When in '66, fresh from the atmosphere 
of clinical experiment, I had begun to study psychi- 


atry, I realised how inadequate were the methods 
hitherto held in esteem, and how necessary it was, 
in studying the insane, to make the patient, not the 
disease, the object of attention. In homage to these 
ideas, I applied to the clinical examination of cases 
of mental alienation the study of the skull, with 
measurements and weights, by means of the esthesio-" 
meter and craniometer. Reassured by the result of 
these first steps, I sought to apply this method to 
the study of criminals — that is, to the differentiation 
of criminals and lunatics, following the example of a 
few investigators, such as Thomson and Wilson; 
but as at that time I had neither criminals nor 
moral imbeciles available for observation (a re- 
markable circumstance since I was to make the 
criminal my starting-point), and as I was skeptical 
as to the existence of those "moral lunatics" so 
much insisted on by both French and English 
authors, whose demonstrations, however, showed a 
lamentable lack of precision, I was anxious to apply 
the experimental method to the study of the di- 
versity, rather than the analogy, between lunatics, 
criminals, and normal individuals. Like him, how- 
ever, whose lantern lights the road for others, while 
he himself stumbles in the darkness, this method 
proved useless for determining the differences be- 
tween criminals and lunatics, but served instead to 


indicate a new method for the study of penal juris- 
prudence, a matter to which I had never given serious 
thought. I began dimly to realise that the a priori 
studies on crime in the abstract, hitherto pursued 
by jurists, especially in Italy, with singular acumen, 
should be superseded by the direct analytical study 
of the criminal, compared with normal individuals 
and the insane. 

I, therefore, began to study criminals in the Italian 
prisons, and, amongst others, I made the acquaint- 
ance of the famous brigand Vilella. This man 
possesssed such extraordinary agility, that he had 
been known to scale steep mountain heights bearing 
a sheep on his shoulders. His cynical effrontery 
was such that he openly boasted of his crimes. On 
his death one cold grey November morning, I was 
deputed to make the post-mortem, and on laying open 
the skull I found on the occipital part, exactly on the 
spot where a spine is found in the normal skull, a 
distinct depression which I named median occipital 
fossa, because of its situation precisely in the middle 
of the occiput as in inferior animals, especially 
rodents. This depression, as in the case of animals, 
was correlated with the hypertrophy of the vermis, 
known in birds as the middle cerebellum. 

This was not merely an idea, but a revelation. 
At the sight of that skull, I seemed to see all of a 


sudden, lighted up as a vast plain under a flaming sky, 
the problem of the nature of the criminal— an 
atavistic being who reproduces in his person the 
ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the 
inferior animals. Thus were explained anatomically 
the enormous jaws, high cheek-bones, prominent 
superciliary arches, solitary lines in the palms, 
extreme size of the orbits, handle-shaped or sessile 
ears found in criminals, savages, and apes, insensi- 
bility to pain, extremely acute sight, tattooing, ex- 
cessive idleness, love of orgies, and the irresistible 
craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only 
to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the 
corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood. 

I was further encouraged in this bold hypothesis 
by the results of my studies on Verzeni, a criminal 
convicted of sadism and rape, who showed the 
cannibalistic instincts of primitive anthropophagists 
and the ferocity of beasts of prey. 

The various parts of the extremely complex problem 
of criminality were, however, not all solved hereby. 
The final key was given by another case, that of 
Misdea, a young soldier of about twenty-one, unin- 
telligent but not vicious. Although subject to 
epileptic fits, he had served for some years in the 
army when suddenly, for some trivial cause, he 
attacked and killed eight of his superior officers and 


comrades. His horrible work accomplished, he fell 
into a deep slumber, which lasted twelve hours and 
on awaking appeared to have no recollection of what 
had happened. Misdea, while representing the most 
ferocious type of animal, manifested, in addition, 
all the phenomena of epilepsy, which appeared 
to be hereditary in all the members of his family. 
It flashed across my mind that many criminal charac- 
teristics not attributable to atavism, such as facial 
asymmetry, cerebral sclerosis, impulsiveness, instan- 
taneousness, the periodicity of criminal acts, the 
desire of evil for evil's sake, were morbid character- 
istics common to epilepsy, mingled with others due 
to atavism. 

Thus were traced the first clinical outlines of my 
work which had hitherto been entirely anthropologi- 
cal. The clinical outlines confirmed the anthropo- 
logical contours, and vice versa; for the greatest 
criminals showed themselves to be epileptics, and, 
on the other hand, epileptics manifested the same 
anomalies as criminals. Finally, it was shown that 
epilepsy frequently reproduced atavistic character- 
istics, including even those common to lower 

That synthesis which mighty geniuses have often 
succeeded in creating by one inspiration (but at 
the risk of errors, for a genius is only human and in 


many cases more fallacious than his fellow-men) was 
deduced by me gradually from various sources' — ■ 
the study of the, normal individual, the lunatic, the 
criminal, the' savage, and finally the child. Thus, 
by reducing the penal problem to its simplest ex- 
pression, its solution was rendered easier, just as the 
study of embryology has in a great measure solved 
the apparently strange and mysterious riddle of 

But these attempts would have been sterile, had 
not a solid phalanx of jurists, Russian, German, 
Hungarian, Italian, and American, fertilised the 
germ by correcting hasty and one-sided conclusions, 
suggesting opportune reforms and applications, and, 
most important of all, applying my ideas on the 
offender to his individual and social prophylaxis and 

Enrico Ferri was the first to perceive that the 
congenital epileptoid criminal did not form a single 
species, and that if this class was irretrievably 
doomed to perdition, crime in others was only a 
brief spell of insanity, determined by circum- 
stances, passion, or illness. He established new 
types- — the occasional criminal and the criminal by 
passion,- — and transformed the basis of the penal 
code by asking if it were more just to make laws obey 
facts instead of altering facts to suit the laws, solely 


in order to avoid troubling the placidity of those 
who refused to consider this new element in the scien- 
tific field. Therefore, putting aside those abstract 
formulas for which high talents have panted in vain, 
like the thirsty traveller at the sight of the desert 
mirage, the advocates of the Modern School came to 
the conclusion that sentences should show a decrease 
in infamy and ferocity proportionate to the increase 
in length, and social safety. In lieu of infamy they 
substituted a longer period of segregation, and for 
cases in which alienists were unable to decide between 
criminality and insanity, they advocated an inter- 
mediate institution, in which merciful treatment and 
social security were alike considered. They also 
emphasised the importance of certain measures 
which hitherto had been universally regarded as a 
pure abstraction or an unattainable desideratum — 
measures for the prevention of crime by tracing it 
to its source, divorce laws to diminish adultery, 
legislation of an anti-alcoholistic tendency to prevent 
crimes of violence, associations for destitute children, 
and co-operative associations to check the tendency 
to theft. Above all, they insisted on those regula- 
tions — unfortunately fallen into disuse' — which in- 
demnify the victim at the expense of the aggressor, 
in order that society, having suffered once for the 
crime, should not be obliged to suffer pecuniarily 


for the detention of the offender, solely in homage 
to a theoretical principle that no one believes in, 
according to which prison is a kind of baptismal font 
in whose waters sin of all kinds is washed away. 

Thus the edifice of criminal anthropology, circum- 
scribed at first, gradually extended its walls and 
embraced special studies on homicide, political 
crime, crimes connected with the banking world, 
crimes by women, etc. 

But the first stone had been scarcely laid when 
from all quarters of Europe arose those calumnies 
and misrepresentations which always follow in the 
train of audacious innovations. We were accused of 
wishing to proclaim the impunity of crime, of de- 
manding the release of all criminals, of refusing to 
take into account climatic and racial influences and 
of asserting that the criminal is a slave eternally 
chained to his instincts; whereas the Modern School, 
on the contrary, gave a powerful impetus to the 
labors of statisticians and sociologists on these very 
matters. This is clearly shown in the third volume 
of Criminal Man, which contains a summary of the 
ideas of modern criminologists and my own. 

One nation, however- — America,- — gave a warm and 
sympathetic reception to the ideas of the Modern 
School which they speedily put into practice, with 
the brilliant results shown by the Reformatory at 


Elmira, the Probation System, Juvenile Courts, and 
the George Junior RepubUc. They also initiated 
the practice, now in general use, of anthropological 
co-operation in every criminal trial of importance. 

For this reason, and in view of the fact that Amer- 
ica does not possess a complete translation of my 
works' — The Criminal, Male and Female, and Politi- 
cal Crime (translation and distribution being alike 
difficult on account of the length of these volumes)^ 
I welcome with pleasure this summary, in which the 
principal points are explained with precision and 
loving care by my daughter Gina, who has worked 
with me from childhood, has seen the edifice of my 
science rise stone upon stone, and has shared in my 
anxieties, insults, and triumphs; without whose help 
I might, perhaps, never have witnessed the com- 
pletion of that edifice, nor the application of its 
fundamental principles. 




A CRIMINAL is a man who violates the laws 
decreed by the State to regulate the relations 
between its citizens, but the voluminous codes which 
in past times set forth these laws treat only of crime, 
never of the criminal. That ignoble multitude 
whom Dante relegated to the Infernal Regions 
were consigned by magistrates and judges to the 
care of gaolers and executioners, who alone deigned 
to deal with them. The judge, immovable in his 
doctrine, unshaken by doubts, solemn in all his 
inviolability and convinced of his wisdom, which no 
one dared to question, passed sentence without re- 
mission according to his whim, and both judge and 
culprit were equally ignorant of the ultimate effect 
of the penalties inflicted. 

In 1764, the great Italian jurist and economist, 
Cesar e Beccaria first called public attention to 
those wretched beings, whose confessions (if state- 



ments extorted by torture can thus be called) formed 
the sole foundation for the trial, the sole guide in the 
application of the punishment, which was bestowed 
blindly, without formality, without hearing the 
defence, exactly as though sentence were being 
passed on abstract symbols, not on human souls and 

The Classical School of Penal Jurisprudence, of 
which Beccaria was the founder and Francesco 
Carrara the greatest and most glorious disciple, 
aimed only at establishing sound judgments and 
fixed laws to guide capricious and often undiscern- 
ing judges in the application of penalties. In 
writing his great work, the founder of this School 
was inspired by the highest of all human sentiments 
• — pity; but although the criminal incidentally re- 
ceives notice, the writings of this School treat only 
of the application of the law, not of offenders 

This is the difference between the Classical and 
the Modern School of Penal Jurisprudence. The 
Classical School based its doctrines on the assump- 
tion that all criminals, except in a few extreme 
cases, are endowed with intelligence and feelings like 
normal individuals, and that they commit misdeeds 
consciously, being prompted thereto by their unre- 
strained desire for evil. The offence alone was con- 


sidered, and on it the whole existing penal system 
has been founded, the severity of the sentence meted 
out to the offender being regulated by the gravity of 
his misdeed. 

The Modern, or Positive, School of Penal Juris- 
prudence, on the contrary, maintains that the anti- 
social tendencies of criminals are the result of their 
physical and psychic organisation, which differs 
essentially from that of normal individuals; and it 
aims at studying the morphology and various func- 
tional phenomena of the criminal with the object 
of curing, instead of punishing him. The Modern 
School is therefore founded on a new science, 
Criminal Anthropology, which may be defined as 
the Natural History of the Criminal, because it em- 
braces his organic and psychic constitution and 
social life, just as anthropology does in the case of 
normal human beings and the different races. 

If we examine a number of criminals, we shall 
find that they exhibit numerous anomalies in the 
face, skeleton, and various psychic and sensitive 
functions, so that they strongly resemble primitive 
races. It was these anomalies that first drew my 
father's attention to the close relationship between 
the criminal and the savage and made him suspect 
that criminal tendencies are of atavistic origin. 
When a young doctor at the Asylum in Pavia, he 


was requested to make a post-mortem examina- 
tion on a criminal named Vilella, an Italian Jack 
the Ripper, who by atrocious crimes had spread 
terror in the Province of Lombardy. Scarcely 
had he laid open the skull, when he perceived at the 
base, on the spot where the internal occipital crest 
or ridge is found in normal individuals, a small 
hollow, which he called median occipital fossa 
(see Fig. i). This abnormal character was cor- 
related to a still greater anomaly in the cerebellum, 
the hypertrophy of the vermis, i.e., the spinal cord 
which separates the cerebellar lobes lying under- 
neath the cerebral hemispheres. This vermis was so 
enlarged in the case of Vilella, that it almost formed 
a small, intermediate cerebellum like that found 
in the lower types of apes, rodents, and birds. This 
anomaly is very rare among inferior races, with the 
exception of the South American Indian tribe of the 
Aymaras of Bolivia and Peru, in whom it is not 
infrequently found (40%) . It is seldom met with in 
the insane or other degenerates, but later investiga- 
tions have shown it to be prevalent in criminals. 

This discovery was like a flash of light. "At 
the sight of that skull," says my father, "I seemed to 
see all at once, standing out clearly illumined as in a 
vast plain under a flaming sky, the problem of the 
nature of the criminal, who reproduces in civilised 

Fig. I 

FossETTE Occipital 
(see page 6) 


times characteristics, not only of primitive savages, 
but of still lower types as far back as the carnivora." 
Thus was explained the origin of the enormous 
jaws, strong canines, prominent zygomae, and 
strongly developed orbital arches which he had so 
frequently remarked in criminals, for these peculiari- 
ties are common to carnivores and savages, who 
tear and devour raw flesh. Thus also it was easy 
to understand why the span of the arms in criminals 
so often exceeds the height, for this is a character- 
istic of apes, whose fore-limbs are used in walking 
and climbing. The other anomalies exhibited by 
criminals — the scanty beard as opposed to the gen- 
eral hairiness of the body, prehensile foot, diminished 
number of lines in the palm of the hand, cheek- 
pouches, enormous development of the middle 
incisors and frequent absence of the lateral ones, 
flattened nose and angular or sugar-loaf form of the 
skull, common to criminals and apes; the excessive 
size of the orbits, which, combined with the hooked 
nose, so often imparts to criminals the aspect of 
birds of prey, the projection of the lower part of the 
face and jaws (prognathism) found in negroes and 
animals, and supernumerary teeth (amounting in 
some cases to a double row as in snakes) and cranial 
bones (epactal bone as in the Peruvian Indians) : all 
these characteristics pointed to one conclusion, the 


atavistic origin of the criminal, who reproduces 
physical, psychic, and functional qualities of remote 

Subsequent research on the part of my father 
and his disciples showed that other factors besides 
atavism come into play in determining the criminal 
type. These are: disease and environment. Later 
on, the study of innumerable offenders led them 
to the conclusion that all law-breakers cannot be 
classed in a single species, for their ranks include very 
diversified types, who differ not only in their bent 
towards a particular form of crime, but also in the 
degree of tenacity and intensity displayed by them 
in their perverse propensities, so that, in reality, they 
form a graduated scale leading from the born crim- 
inal to the normal individual. 

Born criminals form about one third of the mass 
of offenders, but, though inferior in numbers, they 
constitute the most important part of the whole 
criminal army, partly because they are constantly ap- 
pearing before the public and also because the crimes 
committed by them are of a peculiarly monstrous 
character; the other two thirds are composed of 
criminaloids (minor offenders) , occasional and habit- 
ual criminals, etc., who do not show such a marked 
degree of diversity from normal persons. 

Let us commence with the born criminal, who as 


the principal nucleus of the wretched army of law- 
breakers, naturally manifests the most numerous and 
salient anomalies. 

The median occipital fossa and other abnormal 
features just enumerated are not the only peculiari- 
ties exhibited by this aggravated type of offender. 
By careful research, my father and others of his 
School have brought to light many anomalies in 
bodily organs, and functions both physical and 
mental, all of which serve to indicate the ata- 
vistic and pathological origin of the instinctive 

It would be incompatible with the scope of this 
summary, were I to give a minute description of the 
innumerable anomalies discovered in criminals by 
the Modern School, to attempt to trace such abnor- 
mal traits back to their source, or to demonstrate 
their effect on the organism. This has been done 
in a very minute fashion in the three volumes of my 
father's work Criminal Man and his subsequent 
writings on the same subject, Modern Forms of 
Crime, Recent Research in Criminal Anthropology, 
Prison Palimpsests, etc., etc., to which readers 
desirous of obtaining a more thorough knowledge 
of the subject should refer. 

The present volume will only touch briefly on the 
principal characteristics of criminals, with the object 


of presenting a general outline of the studies of 

Physical Anomalies of the Born Criminal 

The Head. As the seat of all the greatest dis- 
turbances, this part naturally manifests the greatest 
number of anomalies, which extend from the 
external conformation of the brain-case to the 
composition of its contents. 

The' criminal skull does not exhibit any marked 
characteristics of size and shape. Generally speak- 
ing, it tends to be larger or smaller than the average 
skull common to the region or country from which 
the criminal hails. It varies between 1200 and 
1600 c.c; i.e., between 73 and 100 cubic inches, the 
normal average being 92. This applies also to the 
cephalic index; that is, the ratio of the maximum 
width to the maximum length of the skull ^ multi- 
plied by 100, which serves to give a concrete idea 
of the form of the skull, because the higher the 
index, the nearer the skull approaches a spherical 
form, and the lower the index, the more elongated 
it becomes. The skulls of criminals have no char- 
acteristic cephalic index, but tend to an exaggeration 
of the ethnical type prevalent in their native coun- 
tries. In regions where dolichocephaly (index less 

' For a description of the methods employed in measuring skulls see 
Part III. 



than 80) abounds, the skulls of criminals show a 
very low index; if, on the contrary, they are natives 
of districts where brachycephaly (index 80 or more) 
prevails, they exhibit a very high index. 

In 15.5% we find trochocephalous or abnormally 
round heads (index 91). A very high percentage 
(nearly double that of normal individuals) have sub- 










'-^ ' 

'-'Bv' - ^W 





Fig. 2 Fig. 3 

microcephalous or small skulls. In other cases the 
skull is excessively large (macrocephaly) or abnor- 
mally small and ill-shaped with a narrow, receding 
forehead (microcephaly, 0.2%). More rarely the 
skull is of normal size, but shaped like the keel of 
a boat (scaphocephaly, o.i% and subscaphocephaly 
6%). (See Fig. 2.) Sometimes the anomalies are 
still more serious and we find wholly asymmetrical 
skulls with protuberances on either side (plagio- 


cephaly 10.9%, see Fig. 3), or terminating in a 
peak on the bregma or anterior fontanel (acrocephaly, 
see Fig. 4), or depressed in the middle (cymboceph- 
aly, sphenocephaly). At times, there are crests or 
grooves along the sutures (11.9%) or the cranial 
bones are abnormally thick, a characteristic of 
savage peoples (36.6%) or abnormally thin (8.10%). 
Other anomalies of importance are the presence of 
Wormian bones in the sutures of the skull (21.22%), 
the bone of the Incas already alluded to (4%), and 
above all, the median occipital fossa. Of great im- 
portance also are the prominent frontal sinuses 
found in 25% (double that of normal individuals), 
the semicircular line of the temples, which is some- 
times so exaggerated that it forms a ridge and is 
correlated to an excessive development of the tem- 
poral muscles, a common characteristic of primates 
and carnivores. Sometimes the forehead is reced- 
ing, as in apes (19%), or low and narrow (10%). 

The Face. In striking contrast to the narrow 
forehead and low vault of the skull, the face of the 
criminal, like those of most animals, is of dispro- 
portionate size, a phenomenon intimately connected 
with the greater development of the senses as com- 
pared with that of the nervous centres. Prognathism, 
the projection of the lower portion of the face be- 
yond the forehead, is found in 45.7% of criminals. 


Progeneismus, the projection of the lower teeth and 
jaw beyond the upper, is found in 38%, whereas 
among normal persons the proportion is barely 28%. 
As a natural consequence of this predominance of the 
lower portion of the face, the orbital arches and 
zygomag show a corresponding development (35%) 
and the size of the jaws is naturally increased, the 
mean diameter being 103.9 "i^i- (4-09 inches) as 
against 93 mm. (3.66 inches) in normal persons. 
Among criminals 29% have voluminous jaws. 

The excessive dimensions of the jaws and cheek- 
bones admit of other explanations besides the atavis- 
tic one of a greater development of the masticatory 
system. They may have been influenced by the 
habit of certain gestures, the setting of the teeth or 
tension of the muscles of the mouth, which accom- 
pany violent muscular efforts and are natural to 
men who form energetic or violent resolves and medi- 
tate plans of revenge. 

Asymmetry is a common characteristic of the 
criminal physiognomy. The eyes and ears are 
frequently situated at different levels and are of 
unequal size, the nose slants towards one side, 
etc. This asymmetry, as we shall see later, is 
connected with marked irregularities in the senses 
and functions. 

The Eye. This window, through which the mind 


opens to the outer world, is naturally the centre 
of many anomalies of a psychic character, hard 
expression, shifty glance, which are difficult to de- 
scribe but are, nevertheless, apparent to all observers 
(see Fig. 4). Side by side with peculiarities of 
expression, we find many physical anomalies — 
ptosis, a drooping of the upper eyelid, which gives 
the eye a half-closed appearance and is frequently 
unilateral; and strabismus, a want of parallelism 
between the visual axes, which is insignificant if it 
arises from errors of refraction, but is very serious if 
it betokens progressive or congenital diseases of the 
brain or its membranous coverings. Other anoma- 
lies are asymmetry of the iris, which frequently 
differs in colour from its fellow; oblique eyelids, 
a Mongolian characteristic, with the edge of the 
upper eyelid folding inward or a prolongation of 
the internal fold of the eyelid, which Metchnikoff 
regards as a persistence of embryonic characters. 

The Ear. The external ear is often of large size ; 
occasionally also it is smaller than the ears of normal 
individuals. Twenty-eight per cent, of criminals 
have handle-shaped ears standing out from the face 
as in the chimpanzee: in other cases they are placed 
at different levels. Frequently too, we find mis- 
shapen, flattened ears, devoid of helix, tragus, and 
anti-tragus, and with a protuberance on the upper 


part of the posterior margin (Darwin's tubercle), 
a relic of the pointed ear characteristic of apes. 
Anomalies are also found in the lobe, which in some 
cases adheres too closely to the face, or is of huge 
size as in the ancient Egyptians; in other cases, the 
lobe is entirely absent, or is atrophied till the ear 
assumes a form like that common to apes. 

The Nose. This is frequently twisted, up-turned 
or of a flattened, negroid character in thieves; in 
murderers, on the contrary, it is often aquiline like 
the beak of a bird of prey. Not infrequently we 
meet with the trilobate nose, its tip rising like an 
isolated peak from the swollen nostrils, a form 
found among the Akkas, a tribe of pygmies of Central 
Africa. All these peculiarities have given rise to 
popular saws, of a character more or less prevalent 

The Mouth. This part shows perhaps a greater 
number of anomalies than any other facial organ. 
We have already alluded to the excessive develop- 
ment of the jaws in criminals. They are sometimes 
the seat of other abnormal characters, — the lemurine 
apophysis, a bony elevation at the angle of the jaw, 
which may easily be recognised externally by pass- 
ing the hand over the skin; and the canine fossa, a 
depression in the upper jaw for the attachment of 
the canine muscle. This muscle, which is strongly 


developed in the dog, serves when contracted to 
draw back the lip leaving the canines exposed. 

The lips of violators of women and murder- 
ers are fleshy, swollen and protruding, as in 
negroes. Swindlers have thin, straight lips. Hare- 
lip is more common in criminals than in normal 

The Cheek- pouches. Folds in the flesh of the 
cheek which recall the pouches of certain species of 
mammals, are not uncommon in criminals. 

The Palate. A central ridge {torus palatinus), 
more easily felt than seen, may sometimes be found 
on the palate, or this part may exhibit other peculi- 
arities, a series of cavities and protuberances corre- 
sponding to the palatal teeth of reptiles. Another 
frequent abnormality is cleft palate, a fissure in the 
palate, due to defective development. 

The Teeth. These are specially important, for 
criminals rarely have normal dentition. The in- 
cisors show the greatest number of anomalies. 
Sometimes both the lateral incisors are absent 
and the middle ones are of excessive size, a 
peculiarity which recalls the incisors of rodents. 
The teeth are frequently striated transversely or set 
very wide apart (diastema) with gaps on either side 
of the upper canines into which the lower ones fit, a 
simian characteristic. In some cases, these spaces 

S - 

OS (U 



(J M 

fa a, 



occur between the middle incisors or between these 
and the lateral ones. 

Very often the teeth show a strange uniformity, 
which recalls the homodontism of the lower verte- 
brates. In some cases, however, this uniformity is 
limited to the premolars, which are furnished with 
tubercles like the molars, a peculiarity of goril- 
las and orang-outangs. In 4% the canines are 
very strongly developed, long, sharp, and curving 
inwardly as in carnivores. Premature caries is 

The Chin. Generally speaking, this part of the 
face projects moderately in Europeans. In crim- 
inals it is often small and receding, as in children, or 
else excessively long, short or flat, as in apes. 

Wrinkles. Although common to normal indi- 
viduals, the abundance, variety, and precocity of 
wrinkles almost invariably manifested by criminals, 
cannot fail to strike the observer. The following are 
the most common: horizontal and vertical lines on 
the forehead, horizontal and circumflex lines at the 
root of the nose, the so-called crow's-feet on the 
temple at the outer corners of the eyes, naso-labial 
wrinkles around the region of the mouth and nose. 

The Hair. The hair of the scalp, cheeks and 
chin, eyebrows, and other parts of the body, shows 
a number of anomalies. In general it may be said 


that in the distribution of hair, criminals of both 
sexes tend to exhibit characteristics of the opposite 
sex. Dark hair prevails especially in murderers, and 
curly and woolly hair in swindlers. Both grey hair 
and baldness are rare and when found make their 
appearance later in life than in the case of normal in- 
dividuals. The beard is scanty and frequently miss- 
ing altogether. On the other hand, the forehead is 
often covered with down. The eyebrows are bushy 
and tend to meet across the nose. Sometimes they 
grow in a slanting direction and give the face a 
satyr-like expression (see Fig. 5). 

The blemishes peculiar to the delinquent are not 
only confined to the face and head, but are found in 
the trunk and limbs. 

The Thorax. An increase or decrease in the 
number of ribs is found in 12% of criminals. This 
is an atavistic character common to animals and 
lower or prehistoric human races and contrasts with 
the numerical uniformity characteristic of civilised 

Polymastia, or the presence of supernumerary 
nipples (which are generally placed symmetrically 
below the normal ones as in many mammals) is not 
an uncommon anomaly. Gynecomastia or hyper- 
trophy of the mammae is still more frequent in male 
criminals. In female criminals, on the contrary, 


we often find imperfect development or absence of 
the nipples, a characteristic of monotremata or 
lowest order of the mammals; or the breasts are 
flabby and pendent like those of Hottentot women. 

The chest is often covered with hair which gives 
the subject the appearance of an animal. 

The Pelvis and Abdomen. The abdomen, pelvis, 
and reproductive organs sometimes show an in- 
version of sex-characters. In 42% the sacral canal is 
uncovered, and in some cases there is a prolongation 
of the coccyx, which resembles the stump of a tail, 
sometimes tufted with hair. 

The Upper Limbs. One of the most striking and 
frequent anomalies exhibited by criminals is the 
excessive length of the arms as compared with the 
lower limbs, owing to which the span of the arms 
exceeds the total height, an ape-like character. 

Six per cent, exhibit an anomaly which is extremely 
rare among normal individuals — the olecranon fora- 
men, a perforation in the head of the humerus where it 
articulates with the ulna. This is normal in the ape 
and dog and is frequently found in the bones of 
prehistoric man and in some of the existing inferior 
races of mankind. 

Several abnormal characters, which point to an 
atavistic origin, are found in the palm and fingers. 
Supernumerary fingers (polydactylism) or a reduc- 


tion in the usual number are not uncommon. 
Sometimes we find syndactylism, or palmate fingers, 
a continuation of the interdigital skin to the second 
phalanx. The length of the fingers varies according 
to the type of crime to which the individual is ad- 
dicted. Those guilty of crimes against the person 
have short, clumsy fingers and especially short 
thumbs. Long fingers are common to swindlers, 
thieves-, sexual offenders, and pickpockets. The 
lines on the palmar surfaces of the finger-tips are 
often of a simple nature as in the anthropoids. The 
principal lines on the palm are of special significance. 
Normal persons possess three, two horizontal and one 
vertical, but in criminals these lines are often re- 
duced to one or two of horizontal or transverse 
direction, as in apes. 

The Lower Limbs. Of a number of criminals ex- 
amined, 1 6% showed an unusual development of the 
third trochanter, a protuberance on the head of the 
femur where it articulates with the pelvis. This 
distinctly atavistic character is connected with the 
position of the hind-limb in quadrupeds. 

The Feet. Spaces between the toes like the in- 
terdigital spaces of the hand are very common, and 
in conjunction with the greater mobility of the toes 
and greater length of the big-toe, produce the pre- 
hensile foot, of the quadrumana, which is used for 


grasping. The foot is often fiat, as in negroes. In 
the feet, as in the hands, there is frequently a tend- 
ency to greater strength or dexterity on the left side, 
contrary to what happens in normal persons, and 
this tendency is manifested in many cases where 
there is no trace of functional and motorial left- 

The Cerebrum and the Cerebellum. The chief and 
most common anomaly is the prevalence of macro- 
scopic anomalies in the left hemisphere, which are 
correlated to the sensory and functional left-hand- 
edness common to criminals and acquired through 
illness. The most notable anomaly of the cerebellum 
is the hypertrophy of the vermis, which represents the 
middle lobe found in the lower mammals. Anoma- 
lies in the cerebral convolutions consist principally 
of anastomotic folds, the doubling of the fissure of 
Rolando, the frequent existence of a fourth frontal 
convolution, the imperfect development of the precu- 
neus (as in many types of apes) , etc. Anomalies of a 
purely pathological character are still more common. 
These are: adhesions of the meninges, thickening of 
the pia mater, congestion of the meninges, partial 
atrophy, centres of softening, seaming of the optic 
thalami, atrophy of the corpus callosum, etc. 

Of great importance, too, are the histological 
anomalies discovered by Roncoroni in the brains of 


criminals and epileptics. In normal individuals the 
layers of the frontal region are disposed in the follow- 
ing manner: 

I. Molecular layer. 2. Superficial layer of 
small cells. 3. Layer of small pyramidal cells. 
4. Deep layer of small nerve cells. 5. Layer of 
polymorphous cells (see Fig. 6). 

In certain animals, the dog, ape, rabbit, ox, and 
domestic fowl, the superficial layer is frequently non- 
existent and the deep one is found only to some 
extent in the ape. 

In born criminals and epileptics there is a preva- 
lence of large, pyramidal, and polymorphous cells, 
whereas in normal individuals small, triangular, 
and star -shaped cells predominate. Also the 
transition from the small superficial to the large 
pyramidal cells is not so regular, and the number 
of nervous cells is noticeably below the average. 
Whereas, moreover, in the normally constituted 
brain, nervous cells are very scarce or entirely 
absent in the white substance, in the case of 
born criminals and epileptics they abound in this 
part of the brain. 

The abnormal morphological arrangement de- 
scribed by Roncoroni is probably the anatomical 
expression of hereditary alterations, and reveals dis- 
orders in nervous development which lead to moral 



;» I' 

•1 • i ^ . • 


i . ..'U- 

• .• w 



.► 4 .v.. 



Fig. 6 

c) Cortical strata of the circumvolutions of the parietal lobes of a 

normal person. 
b) Cortical strata of the circumvolutions of the parietal lobes of a 
criminal epileptic. 
I. Molecular stratum. 2. External granular stratum. 3. Stratum of the small 
pyramidal cells. 4. Stratum of the large pyramidal cells. 5. Deep stratum of 
the small nervous cells or the deep granular stratum. 6. Stratum of polymorphic cells. 
S.B. White matter. 


insanity or epilepsy according to the gravity of the 
morbid conditions which give rise to them. 

These anomahes in the Hmbs, trunk, skull and, 
above all, in the face, when numerous and marked, 
constitute what is known to criminal anthropologists 
as the criminal type, in exactly the same way as the 
sum of the characters peculiar to cretins form what is 
called the cretinous type. In neither case have the 
anomalies an intrinsic importance, since they are 
neither the cause of the anti-social tendencies of the 
criminal nor of the mental deficiencies of the cretin. 
They are the outward and visible signs of a 
mysterious and complicated process of degeneration, 
which in the case of the criminal evokes evil 
impulses that are largely of atavistic origin. 

Sensory and Functional Peculiarities of the 
Born Criminal 

The above-mentioned physiognomical and skeletal 
anomalies are further supplemented by functional 
peculiarities, and all these abnormal characteristics 
converge, as mountain streams to the hollow in 
the plain, towards a central idea — the atavistic 
nature of the born criminal. 

An examination of the senses and sensibility of 
criminals gives the following results: 

General Sensibility. Tested simply by touching 


with the finger, a certain degree of obtuseness is 
noted. By using an apparatus invented by Du 
Bois-Reymond and adopted by my father, the 
degree of sensibility obtained was 49.6 mm. in 
criminals as against 64.2 mm. in normal individ- 
uals. Criminals are more sensitive on the left side, 
contrary to normal persons, in whom greater 
sensibility prevails on the right. 

Sensibility to Pain. Compared with ordinary 
individuals, the criminal shows greater insensibility 
•to pain as well as to touch. This obtuseness some- 
times reaches complete analgesia or total absence of 
feeling (16%), a phenomenon never encountered in 
normal persons. The mean degree of dolorific 
sensibility in criminals is 34.1 mm. whereas it is 
rarely lower than 40 mm. in normal individuals. 
Here again the left -handedness of criminals becomes 
apparent, 39% showing greater sensibility on the 

Tactile Sensibility. The distance at which two 
points applied to the finger-tips are felt separately is 
more than 4 mm. in 30% of criminals, a degree of 
obtuseness only found in 4% of normal individuals. 
Criminals exhibit greater tactile sensibility on the 
left. Tactile obtuseness varies with the class of 
crime practised by the individual. While in burglars, 
swindlers, and assaulters, it is double that of normal 


persons, in murderers, violators, and incendiaries it 
is often four or five times as great. 

Sensibility to the Magnet, which scarcely exists 
in normal persons, is common to a marked degree 
in criminals (48%). 

Meteoric Sensibility. This is far more apparent in 
criminals and the insane than in normal individuals. 
With variations of temperature and atmospheric 
pressure, both criminals and lunatics become agi- 
tated and manifest changes of disposition and 
sensations of various kinds, which are rarely experi- 
enced by normal persons. 

Sight is generally acute, perhaps more so than in 
ordinary individuals, and in this the criminal re- 
sembles the savage. Chromatic sensibility, on the 
contrary, is decidedly defective, the percentage of 
colour-blindness being twice that of normal persons. 
The field of vision is frequently limited by the white 
and exhibits much stranger anomalies, a special ir- 
regularity of outline with deep peripheral scotoma, 
which we shall see is a special characteristic of the 

Hearing, Smell, Taste are generally of less than aver- 
age acuteness in criminals. Cases of complete anos- 
mia and qualitative obtuseness are not uncommon. ^ 

' For a description of the methods used in measuring the acuteness of 
these senses, see Part III. 


Agility. Criminals are generally agile and pre- 
serve this quality even at an advanced age. When 
over seventy, Vilella sprang like a goat up the steep 
rocks of his native Calabria, and the celebrated thief 
"La Vecchia," when quite an old man, escaped from 
his captors by leaping from a high rampart at Pavia. 

Strength. Contrary to what might be expected, 
tests by means of the dynamometer show that crim- 
inals do not usually possess an extraordinary degree 
of strength. There is frequently a slight difference 
between the strength of the right and left limbs, but 
more often ambidexterity, as in children, and a 
greater degree of strength in the left limbs. 

Psychology of the Born Criminal 

The physical type of the criminal is completed 
and intensified by his moral and intellectual physio- 
gnomy, which furnishes a further proof of his 
relationship to the savage and epileptic. 

Natural Affections. These play an important 
part in the life of a normally constituted individual 
and are in fact the raison d'etre of his existence, but 
the criminal rarely, if ever, experiences emotions 
of this kind and least of all regarding his own kin. 
On the other hand, he shows exaggerated and 
abnormal fondness for animals and strangers. La 
Sola, a female criminal, manifested about as much 


affection for her children as if they had been kittens 
and induced her accompHce to murder a former 
paramour, who was deeply attached to her ; yet she 
tended the sick and dying with the utmost devotion. 
In the place of domestic and social affections, 
the criminal is dominated by a few absorbing pas- 
sions: vanity, impulsiveness, desire for revenge, 

Moral Sense 

The ability to discriminate between right and 
wrong, which is the highest attribute of civilised 
humanity, is notably lacking in physically and 
psychically stunted organisms. Many criminals do 
not realise the immorality of their actions. In 
French criminal jargon conscience is called "la 
muette," the thief "I'ami," and "travailler" and 
"servir" signify to steal. A Milanese thief once 
remarked to my father: "I don't steal. I only re- 
lieve the rich of their superfluous wealth.' ' Lacenaire, 
speaking of his accomplice Avril, remarked, "I real- 
ised at once that we should be able to work together." 
A thief asked by Ferri what he did when he found 
the purse stolen by him contained no money, re- 
plied, "I call them rogues." The notions of right 
and wrong appear to be completely inverted in such 
minds. They seem to think they have a right to 


rob and murder and that those who hinder them are 
acting unfairly. Murderers, especially when actu- 
ated by motives of revenge, consider their actions 
righteous in the extreme. 

Repentance and Remorse. We hear a great deal 
about the remorse of criminals, but those who come 
into contact with these degenerates realise that 
they are rarely, if ever, tormented by such feelings. 
Very few confess their crimes: the greater number 
deny all guilt in a most strenuous manner and are 
fond of protesting that they are victims of injustice, 
calumny, and jealousy. As Despine once remarked 
with much insight, nothing resembles the sleep of the 
just more closely than the slumbers of an assassin. 

Many criminals, indeed, allege repentance, but 
generally from hypocritical motives; either because 
they hope to gain some advantage by working on the 
feelings of philanthropists, or with a view to escap- 
ing, or, at any rate, improving their condition while 
in prison. Thus Lacenaire, when convicted for the 
first time, wrote in a moving strain to his friend 
Vigouroux in order to get money and help from him, 
"Repentance is the only course left open to me. 
You may well feel pleased at having turned a man 
from a path of crime for which he was not intended 
by nature." A few hours later he committed an- 
other theft, and before he died remarked cynically 


that he had never experienced remorse. When 
tried at the Assizes at Pavia, Rognoni pronounced a 
touching discourse on his repentance and refused the 
wine brought him in prison for some days because it 
reminded him of his miurdered brother. But he 
obtained it surreptitiously from his ' fellow-prisoners, 
and when one of them grumbled at having to give 
up his own portion, Rognoni threatened him say- 
ing, "I have already murdered four, and shall make 
no bones about killing a fifth." 

Sometimes remorse is advanced by criminals as a 
palliation of their crimes. Michelieu justified the coup 
de grace inflicted on his victim by saying, "When I 
saw her in that state, I felt such terrible remorse 
that I shot her dead in order not to meet her glance." 

Sometimes an appearance of remorse is pro- 
duced by hallucinations due to alcoholism. Philippe 
and Lucke imagined they saw the spectres of the 
persons they had murdered a short time before, but 
in reality they were suffering from the effects of 
drink and so little true remorse did they feel that on 
being sentenced, Philippe remarked, "If they had 
not sent me to Cayenne, I should have done it again." 
Generally speaking, what seems to be repentance is 
only the fear of death or some superstitious dread, 
which assumes an appearance of remorse, but is 
devoid of real feeling. 


A typical instance of hypocrisy and cynicism is 
furnished by the Marquise de BrinviUiers, the 
notorious poisoner, who succeeded in deceiving the 
venerable prison-chaplain so completely that he 
regarded her as a model of penitence, yet in her 
last moments she wrote to her husband denying 
her guilt and exhibited lascivious and revengeful 

Many criminals, when in prison, model sculptural 
representations of their crimes with crumbs of 
•bread (see Fig. 7). 

Cynicism. The strongest proof of the total lack 
of remorse in criminals and their inability to distin- 
guish between good and evil is furnished by the cal- 
lous way in which they boast of their depraved 
actions and feign pious sentiments which they do 
not feel. One criminal humbly entreated to be 
allowed to retain his own crucifix while in prison. 
It was subsequently discovered that the sacred image 
served as a sheath for his dagger (see Fig. 8) . 

Philippe made the following statement to one of 
his female companions. " My way of loving women 
is a very strange one. After enjoying their caresses, 
I take the greatest delight in strangling them or 
cutting their throats. Soon you will hear everyone 
talking about me." Shortly before he murdered his 
father, Lachaud said to his friends, "This evening I 


shall dig a grave and lay my father there to rest 

Sometimes, indeed, a criminal realises dimly the 
depravity of his actions ; he rarely judges them, how- 
ever, as a normal person would, but seeks to explain 
and justify them after his own fashion. When 
asked by the magistrate if he denied having stolen 
ahorse, Ansalone replied, "Surely you do not call 
that a theft; a leader of brigands could hardly be 
expected to go on foot!" 

Others consider that their actions are less criminal 
if their intentions were good; like Holland, who 
murdered to obtain food for his wife and children. 
Others, again, think themselves excused by the fact 
that many do worse things with impunity. Any 
circumstance, the lack or insufficiency of evidence 
against them or the fact that they are accused of an 
offence different from the one they have really com- 
mitted, is seized upon as a mitigation of their guilt, 
and they always manifest much resentment against 
those who administer the law. "London thieves," 
observes Mayhew, "realise that they do wrong, 
but think that they are no worse than ordinary 

The constant perusal of newspaper reports leads 
criminals to believe that there are a great many 
rogues in higher circles, and by taking exceptions to 


be the rule, they flatter themselves that their own 
actions are not very reprehensible, because the 
wealthy are not censured for similar actions. 

These instances show that criminals are not 
entirely unable to distinguish between right and 
wrong. Nevertheless, their moral sense is sterile 
because it is suffocated by passions and the dead- 
ening force of habit. 

In the cant of Spanish thieves, justice is called 
"la justa" (the just), and this name is given in 
•French slang to the Assizes, but, as Mayor observes, 
it may be applied ironically. 

In alluding to the unknown author of the 
crimes committed in reality by himself, the 
murderer Prevost remarked, "Whoever it is, he 
is bound to end by the guillotine sooner or later." 
In such cases, although a sense of truth and 
justice exists, the desire to act according to it is 

" It is one thing [observes Harwick] to possess a theoretical 
notion of what is right and wrong, but quite another to act 
according to it. In order that the knowledge of good should 
be transformed into an ardent desire for its triumph, as food 
is converted into chyle and blood, it must be urged to action 
by elevated sentiments, and these are generally lacking in the 
criminal. If, on the contrary, good feelings really exist, the 
individual desires to do right and his convictions are trans- 
lated into action with the same energy that he displayed in 
doing wrong." • 



A philanthropist once invited a number of young 
London thieves to a friendly gathering, and it was 
noticed that the most hardened offenders were 
greeted with the greatest amount of applause from 
the company. Nevertheless, when the President 
requested one of them to change a gold coin outside, 
and he did not return, those present showed great 
indignation and anxiety, abusing and threatening 
their absent companion, whose ultimate return was 
hailed with genuine relief. In this case, no doubt, 
envy and vanity played as great a part as a sense of 
integrity, in the resentment shown at this fancied 
breach of faith. 

In the prisons at Moscow, offences against dis- 
cipline are dealt with by the offenders' fellow- 
prisoners. The convict population on the island of 
San Stefano compiled spontaneously a Draconian 
code to quell internal discord arising from racial 

Treachery. This species of morality and justice, 
which unexpectedly makes its appearance in the 
midst of a naturally unrighteous community, can 
only be forced and temporary. When, instead of 
reaping advantages, interests and passions are 
injured by acting rightly, these notions of justice, 
unsustained by innate integrity suddenly fail. Con- 
trary to universal belief, criminals are very prone to 


betray their companions and accomplices, and are 
easily induced to act as informers in the hope of 
gaining some personal advantage or of injuring 
those they envy or suspect of treachery towards 

"Many thieves," says Vidocq, ''consider it a 
stroke of luck to be consulted by the police." In 
fact, Bouscaut, one of a notorious band of male- 
factors in France, was chiefly instrumental in causing 
the arrest of the gang ; and the brigand Caruso aided 
the authorities in capturing his former companions. 

Vanity. Pride, or rather vanity, and an exag- 
gerated notion of their own importance, which we 
find in the masses, generally in inverse proportion to 
real merit, is especially strong in criminals. In the 
cell occupied by La Gala, the following notice was 
found in his handwriting: ''March 24th. On this 
date La Gala learnt to knit." Another criminal, 
Crocco, tried hard to save his brother, "Lest," he 
said, "my race should die out." Lacenaire was less 
troubled by the death-sentence than by adverse 
criticisms of his bad verse and the fear of public 
contempt. "I do not fear being hated," he is 
reported to have said, "but I dread being despised 
—the tempest leaves traces of its passage, but 
unobserved the humble flower fades." 

Thus thieves are loth to confess that they are 


guilty of only petty larceny, and are sometimes 
prompted by vanity to commit more serious rob- 
beries. The same false shame is common to fallen 
women, among whom contempt is incurred, not by 
excess of depravity but by the failure to command 
high prices. Grellinier, a petty thief, boasted in 
court of imaginary offences, with the desire of appear- 
ing in the light of a great criminal. The crimes in 
the haunted castle, attributed by Holmes to him- 
self, were certainly in part inventions. The female 
poisoner, Buscemi, when writing to her accomplice, 
signed herself, "Your Lucrezia Borgia." 

One of the most frequent causes of modern crime 
is the desire to gratify personal vanity and to 
become notorious. 

Impulsiveness. This is another and almost pa- 
thognomonical characteristic of born criminals, and 
also, as we shall see later on, of epileptics and the 
morally insane. That which in ordinary individuals 
is only an eccentric and fugitive suggestion vanish- 
ing as soon as it arises, in the case of abnormal 
subjects is rapidly translated into action, which, al- 
though unconscious, is not the less dangerous. A 
youth of this impulsive type, returning home one 
evening flushed with wine, met a peasant leading his 
ass and cried out, "As I have not come to blows with 
anyone to-day, I must vent my rage on this beast," 


at the same time drawing his knife and plunging it 
several times into the poor animal's body (Ladelci, 
// Vmo, Rome, 1868). Pinel describes a morally- 
insane subject, who was in the habit of giving way 
to his passions, killing any horses that did not please 
him and thrashing his political opponents. He even 
went to the length of throwing a lady down a well, 
because she ventured to contradict him. 

" The most trifling causes [remarks Tamburini, speaking of 
Sbro. . . .] that stand in the way of his wishes, provoke a 
.fit of rage in which he appears to lose all self-control, like 
little children, who in resenting any offence show no sense of 
proportion. The most trivial reasons for disliking anyone 
awaken in him an irresistible desire to kill the object of his 
aversion, and if any new blasphemy rises to his lips, he feels 
constrained to repeat it." 

A thief once said to my father: "It is in our very 
blood. It may be only a pin, but I cannot help 
taking it, although I am quite ready to give it back 
to its owner." The pickpocket Bor . . . confessed 
that at the age of twelve he had begun to steal in the 
streets and at school, to the extent of taking things 
from under his schoolfellows' pillows, and that it 
was impossible for him to resist stealing, even 
when his pockets were full. If he had not stolen 
some article before going to bed, he was unable 
to sleep, and when midnight struck, he felt 
obliged to take the first thing that came to his 


hand, destroying it frequently as soon as he had 
appropriated it. 

"To give up stealing," said Deham to Lauvergne, 
"would be like ceasing to exist. Stealing is a passion 
that burns like love and when I feel the blood seeth- 
ing in my brain and fingers, I think I should be 
capable of robbing myself, if that were possible." 
When sentenced to the galleys, he stole the bands 
from the masts, nails, and copper plates, and he 
himself fixed the number of lashes he was to receive 
after each of these exploits, which did not prevent 
his recommencing stealing directly afterward {Les 
Forgats, p. 358). 

Ponticelli once saw a thief, who was dying of 
consumption, steal an old slipper from his neighbour 
and hide it under the bedclothes. 

Vindictiveness. Closely allied to this impulsive- 
ness and exaggerated personal vanity, we find an 
extraordinary thirst for revenge. Lebuc murdered a 
man who had stolen some matches from him. 
Baron R. . . caused the death of a man, because he 
had failed to order a religious procession to halt 
under the windows of his palace. 

" To see expire the one you hate — 
Such is the joy of the gods. 
My sole desire is to hate and be avenged." 

wrote Lacenaire.. 


After a slight dispute with Voit, whose hospitahty 
he had enjoyed, Renaud threw his friend down a well. 
He was arrested, and when Voit, who had been res- 
cued, pardoned him, he said, "I only regret not 
having finished him, but when I come out of prison, 
I will do so." And he kept his word. 

The tattooing on the persons of criminals and 
their writings while in prison are full of solemn oaths 
of vengeance. A female thief once said, "If it were 
true that those who refuse to pardon will be damned 
'eternally, I should still withhold my forgiveness." 

Cruelty depends on moral and physical insensi- 
bility, those incapable of feeling pain being indiffer- 
ent to the sufferings of others. 

The post of executioner was eagerly competed 
for at the prison of Rochefort. Mammon used to 
drink the blood of his victims and when this was 
not to be had, he drank his own. The execu- 
tioner Jean became so maddened by the sight 
of blood flowing beneath his lash, that guards 
were stationed to prevent undue prolongation of 
the punishment. Dippe wrote: " My chief pleasure 
is beheading. When I was young, stabbing was 
my sole pastime." 

It has often been observed that the ferocity of 
women exceeds that of men. Rulfi killed her own 
niece, whom she detested, by thrusting long pins 


into her, and the female brigand Ciclope reproached 
her lover for murdering his victims too quickly. 

Idleness. Like savages, criminals are dominated 
by an incorrigible laziness, which in certain cases 
leads them to prefer death from starvation to regu- 
lar work. This idleness alternates with periods of 
ferocious impulsiveness, during which they display 
the greatest energy. Like savages, too, they are 
passionately fond of alcohol, orgies, and sensual 
pleasures, which alone rouse them to activity. 

Orgies. Those who have observed children ab- 
sorbed all day long by a game that pleases them, 
can understand the meaning of these words, spoken 
by a woman: ''Criminals are grown-up children." 
The love of habitual debauch is so intense that, as 
soon as thieves have made some great haul or escaped 
from prison, they return to their haunts to carouse 
and make merry, in spite of the evident danger of 
falling once more into the hands of the police. 

Gambling. The passion for gambling is so strong 
that the criminal is always in a penniless condition, 
no matter how much treasure he has appropri- 
ated, and cases of starvation in prison are not 
unknown, prisoners having sold their rations in 
order to gratify this vice. 

Games. Many primitive and cruel amusements, 
similar to the pastimes of savages, have been pre- 


served or reconstructed by criminals. Such are 
the games known to Itahan offenders as "La Patta," 
in which one of the players tries to avoid being struck 
while passing his head between two points brought 
together horizontally by another, who stands with 
his arms outstretched; and "La Rota," in which the 
players run in a circle, one behind the other, seek- 
ing to escape, by dodging, the blows from a stout 
stick, aimed at them by one of their companions. 

Intelligence is feeble in some and exaggerated in 
others. Prudence and forethought are generally 
lacking. A very common characteristic is reckless- 
ness, which leads criminals to run the risk of arrest 
for the sake of being witty, or to leave some blood- 
stained weapon on the very spot where they have 
committed a crime, notwithstanding the fact that 
they have taken a hundred precautions to avoid 
detection. This same recklessness prompts them, 
when the danger is scarcely past, to make verses or 
pictures of their exploits or to tattoo them upon their 
persons, heedless of consequences. 

Zino relates the story of a Sicilian schoolboy, 
who illustrated his criminal relations with his school- 
fellows by a series of sketches in his album. A cer- 
tain Cavaglia, called "Fusil" robbed and murdered 
an accomplice and hid the body in a cupboard. He 
was arrested and in prison decided to commit 


suicide a hundred days after the date of his crime, 
but before doing so, he adorned his water- jug with 
an account of his misdeed, partly in pictures and 
partly in writing, as though he desired to raise a 
monument to himself (see Fig. 9). The clearest 
and strangest instance of this recklessness was fur- 
nished by a photograph discovered by the police, in 
which, at the risk of arrest and detection, three 
criminals had had themselves photographed in the 
very act of committing a murder. 

Intellectual Manifestations 

Slang. This is a peculiar jargon used by crimi- 
nals when speaking among themselves. The syntax 
and grammatical construction of the language remain 
unchanged, but the meanings of words are altered, 
many being formed in the same way as in primitive 
languages; i.e., an object frequently receives the 
name of one of its attributes. Thus a kid is called 
"jumper," death ''the lean or cruel one," the soul 
"the false or shameful one," the body "the veil," the 
hour "the swift one," the moon "the spy," a purse 
"the saint," alms "the rogue," a sermon "the 
tedious one," etc. Many words are formed as 
among savages, by onomatopoeia, as "tuff" (pistol), 
"tic" (watch), "guanguana" (sweetheart), "fric 
frac" (lottery). 

Fig. q 

(see page 42) 


The necessity of eluding police investigations is 
the reason usually given for the origin of this slang. 
No doubt it was one of the chief causes, but does 
not explain the continued use of a jargon which is too 
well known now to serve this purpose ; moreover, it 
is employed in poems, the object of which is to invite 
public attention, not to avoid it, and by criminals in 
their homes where there is no need for secrecy. 

Pictography. One of the strangest characteristics 
of criminals is the tendency to express their ideas 
■ pictorially . While in prison, Troppmann painted 
the scene of his misdeed, for the purpose of showing 
that it had been committed by others. We have 
already mentioned the rude illustrations engraved by 
the murderer Cavaglia on his pitcher, representing his 
crime, imprisonment, and suicide. Books, crockery, 
guns, all the utensils criminals have in constant use, 
serve as a canvas on which to portray their exploits. 

From pictography it is but an easy step to hiero- 
glyphics like those used by ancient peoples. The 
hieroglyphics of criminals are closely allied to their 
slang, of which in fact they are only a pictorial 
representation, and, although largely inspired by 
the necessity for secrecy, show, in addition, evident 
atavistic tendencies. 

De Blasio has explained the meaning of the 
hieroglyphics used by the ''camorristi" (members 



of the camorra at Naples), especially when they are 
in prison. For instance, to indicate the President of 
the Tribunal, they use a crown with three points; to 
indicate a judge, the judge's cap (see Fig. lo). 

The following is a list of 

Vj President of Tribunal 




-Police Inspector 

.Public Prosecutor 

- Carbineer 


-Commissary of Police 

some of the hieroglyphics 
mentioned by De Blasio: 
Police Inspector — a hat 
like those worn by the 
Italian soldiers who are 
called Alpini (a helmet 
with flat top and an 
upright feather on the 
left side). 
Public Prosecutor — an 
open-mouthed viper 
(see Fig. lo). 
Carabineer — a bugle. 
Theft — a. skull and cross-bones. 
Commissary of the Police — a dwarf with the three- 
cornered hat worn by the carabinieri. 
Arts and Industries of the Criminal. Although 
habitual criminals show a strong aversion to any 
kind of useful labour, in prison and at large, they, 
nevertheless, apply themselves with great diligence 
to certain tasks, sometimes of an illegal nature, such 
as the manufacture of implements to aid them in es- 


Fig. id 

Drawings in Script. 
Discovered by De Blasio 



caping, sometimes merely artistic, such as modelling, 
with breadcrumbs, brickdust, or soap, the figures of 


persons. Sometimes they make baskets, 
machines, dominoes, draughts, playing- 
cards, etc., or form means of communi- 
cation with their fellow-prisoners and 
construct weapons for executing their 
schemes of vengeance. They also devote 
themselves to eccentric and useless occu- 
pations, like the training of animals, such 
as mice, marmosets, birds, and even fleas 
(Lattes). This morbid and misguided 
activity, which frequently shows gleams 
of talent, might well be utilised for in- 
creasing the scope of prison industries. 


This personal decoration so often 
found on great criminals is one of the 
strangest relics of a former state. It 
consists of designs, hieroglyphics, and 
words punctured in the skin by a special 
and very painful process. 

Among primitive peoples, who live in 
a more or less nude condition, tattooing takes the 
place of decorations or ornamental garments, and 
serves as a mark of distinction or rank. When an 

- — . 














• ^* 












«— 1 




















De Blasio 


Eskimo slays an enemy, he adorns his upper-Hp with 
a couple of blue stripes, and the warriors of Su- 
matra add a special sign to their decorations for every 
foe they kill. In Wuhaiva, ladies of noble birth are 
more extensively tattooed than women of humbler 
rank. Among the Maoris, tattooing is a species of 
armorial bearings indicative of noble birth. 

According to ancient writers, tattooing was 
practised by Thracians, Picts, and Celts. Roman 
soldiers tattooed their arms with the names of their 
generals, and artisans in the Middle Ages were 
marked with the insignia of their crafts. In modern 
times this custom has fallen into disuse among the 
higher classes and only exists among sailors, soldiers, 
peasants, and workmen. 

Although not exclusively confined to criminals, 
tattooing is practised by them to a far larger extent 
than by normal persons: 9% of adult criminals and 
40% of minors are tattooed; whereas, in normal 
persons the proportion is only 0.1%. Recidivists 
and born criminals, whether thieves or murderers, 
show the highest percentage of tattooing. Forgers 
and swindlers are rarely tattooed. 

Sometimes tattooing consists of a motto symbolical 
of the career of the criminal it adorns. Tardieu 
found on the arm of a sailor who had served various 
terms of imprisonment, the words, "Pas de chance." 


The notorious criminal Malassen was tattooed on 
the chest with the drawing of a guillotine, under 
which was written the following prophecy: "J'ai 
mal commence, je finirai mal. C'est la fin qui 

Tattooing frequently bears witness to indecency. 
Of 142 criminals examined by my father, the tattoo- 
ing on five showed obscenity of design and position 
and furnished also a remarkable proof of the in- 
sensibility to pain characteristic of criminals, the 
parts tattooed being the most sensitive of the whole 
body, and therefore left untouched even by savages. 

Another fact worthy of mention is the extent to 
which criminals are tattooed. Thirty-five out of 
378 criminals examined by Lacassagne were deco- 
rated literally from head to foot. 

In a great many cases, the designs reveal violence 
of character and a desire for revenge. A Pied- 
montese sailor, who had perpetrated fraud and 
murder from motives of revenge, bore on his breast 
between two daggers, the words: ''I swear to revenge 
myself." Another had written on his forehead, 
'' Death to the middle classes," with the drawing of a 
dagger underneath. A young Ligurian, the leader 
of a mutiny in an Italian Reformatory, was tattooed 
with designs representing all the most important 
episodes of his life, and the idea of revenge was 


paramount. On his right forearm figured two 
crossed swords, underneath them the initials M. N. 
(of an intimate friend) , and on the inner side, traced 
longitudinally, the motto: "Death to cowards. 
Long live our alliance." 

Tattooing, as practised by criminals, is a perfect 
substitute for writing with symbols and hiero- 
glyphics, and they take a keen pleasiu^e in this mode 
of adorning their skins. 

Of atavistic origin, also, is the practice, common 
to members of the camorra, of branding their sweet- 
hearts on the face, not from motives of revenge, but 
as a sign of proprietorship, like the chiefs of savage 
tribes, who mark their wives and other belongings; 
and the form of tattooing called "Paranza," which 
distinguishes the various bands of malefactors, — 
the band of the "banner," of the "three arrows," 
of the "bell-ringer," of the "Carmelites," etc. 

The Criminal Type 

All the physical and psychic peculiarities of 
which we have spoken are found singly in many 
normal individuals. Moreover, crime is not always 
the result of degeneration and atavism; and, on the 
other hand, many persons who are considered per- 
fectly normal are not so in reality. However, in 
normal individuals, we never find that accumulation 


of physical, psychic, functional, and skeletal anoma- 
lies in one and the same person, that we do in the 
case of criminals, among whom also entire freedom 
from abnormal characteristics is more rare than 
among ordinary individuals. 

Just as a musical theme is the result of a sum of 
notes, and not of any single note, the criminal type 
results from the aggregate of these anomalies, which 
render him strange and terrible, not only to the 
scientific observer, but to ordinary persons who are 
capable of an impartial judgment. 

Painters and poets, unhampered by false doc- 
trines, divined this type long before it became the 
subject of a special branch of study. The assassins, 
executioners, and devils painted by Mantegna, 
Titian, and Ribera the Spagnoletto embody with 
marvellous exactitude the characteristics of the 
born criminal; and the descriptions of great writ- 
ers, Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, and Ibsen, 
are equally faithful representations, physically and 
psychically, of this morbid type. 

The Criminal in Proverbial Sayings 

The conclusions of instinctive observers have 
found expression in many proverbs, which warn the 
world against the very characteristics we have noted 
in criminals. 


A proverb common in Romagna, says: "Poca' 
barba e niun colore, sotto il cielo non vi ha peggiore 
(There is nothing worse under Heaven than a scanty 
beard and a colourless face), and in Piedmont there 
is a saying, " Faccia smorta, peggio che scabbia" 
(An ashen face is worse than the itch). The Vene- 
tians have a number of proverbs expressing distrust 
of the criminal type : ' ' Uomo rosso e f emina barbuta 
da lontan xe megio lasaluta" (Greet from afar the 
red-haired man and the bearded woman) ; ' ' Vardete 
da chi te parla e guarda in la, e vardete da chi tiene 
i oci bassi e da chi camina a corti passi" (Beware of 
him who looks away when he speaks to you, and of 
him who keeps his eyes cast down and takes minc- 
ing steps) ; "El guerzo xe maledetto per ogni verso" 
(The squint-eyed are on all sides accursed) ; " Megio 
vendere un campo e una ca che tor una dona dal 
naso levd" (Better sell a field and a house than take 
a wife with a turned-up nose); "Naso che guarda in 
testa e peggior che la tempesta" (A turned-up nose is 
worse than hail) ; etc. 

There are innumerable cases on record, in which 
persons quite ignorant of criminology have escaped 
robbery or murder, thanks to the timely distrust 
awakened in them by the appearance of individuals 
who had tried to win their confidence. My father 
laced before forty children, twenty portraits 

0zC20 1911 ^ 




of thieves and twenty representing great men, and 
80% recognised in the first the portraits of bad and 
deceitful people. 

In conclusion, the bom criminal possesses cer- 
tain physical and mental characteristics, which 
mark him out as a special type, materially and mor- 
ally diverse from the bulk of mankind. 

Like the .little cage-bred bird which instinctively 
crouches and trembles at the sight of the hawk, 
although ignorant of its ferocity, an honest man feels 
instinctive repugnance at the sight of a miscreant 
and thus signalises the abnormality of the criminal 



\ TO one, before my father, had ever recognised in 
■*• ^ the criminal an abnormal being driven by an ir- 
resistible atavistic impulse to commit anti-social acts, 
but many had observed (cases of the kind were too 
frequent to escape notice) the existence of certain 
individuals, nearly always members of degenerate 
families, who seemed from their earliest infancy to be 
prompted by some fatal impulse to do evil to their 
fellow-men. They differed from ordinary people, 
because they hated the very persons who to normal 
beings are the nearest and dearest, parents, husbands, 
wives, and children, and because their inhuman deeds 
seemed to cause them no remorse. These individ- 
uals, who were sometimes treated as lunatics, some- 
times as diseased persons, and sometimes as criminals, 
were said by the earliest observers to be afflicted 

with moral insanity. 



Analogy. Those who are famiHar with all that 
Pinel, Morel, Richard Connon, and other great 
alienists have written on the morally insane cannot 
help remarking the analogy, nay identity, of the 
physical, intellectual, and moral characteristics 
of this type of lunatic and those of the born 

The same physical anomalies already observed in 
criminals, as described in the first chapter (cranial 
deformities, asymmetry, physical and functional 
left-handedness, anomalies in the teeth, hands, and 
feet), are described by these older writers as being 
characteristic of the morally insane, as are also 
those mental and moral qualities already noted in the 
born criminal — vanity, want of affection, cruelty, 
idleness, and love of orgies. 

Only the analogy of the origin and early mani- 
festations was lacking to complete the proof of the 
identity of the two forms. It is true that moral 
insanity is more often found in the descendants of 
insane, neurotic, or dipsomaniac forebears than in 
those of criminals, and that the characteristics are 
manifested at an earlier age than is the case with 
bom criminals, but these differences are not of 
fundamental importance. 

Cases. During many years of observation, my 
father was able to follow innumerable cases of moral 


insanity in which perversity was manifested. Hterally 
from the cradle, and in which the victims of this dis- 
ease grew up into deHnquents in no wise distinguish- 
able from born criminals. 

A typical instance is that of a certain Rizz. . . 
who was brought to him by the mother because, 
while still at the breast, he bit his nurse so viciously 
that bottle-feeding had to be substituted. At the 
age of two years, careful training and medical treat- 
ment notwithstanding, this child was separated from 
his brothers, because he stuck pins into their pillows 
and played dangerous tricks on them. Two years 
later, he broke open his father's cash-box and stole 
money to buy sweets; at six, although decidedly 
intelligent, he was expelled from every private 
school in the town, because he instigated the others 
to mischief or ill-treated them. At fourteen, he 
seduced a servant and ran away, and at twenty he 
killed his fianc6e by throwing her out of a window. 
Thanks to the testimony of a great many doctors, 
Rizz . . . was declared to be morally insane, but if the 
family had been poor instead of well-to-do, and the 
mother had neglected to have her child examined in 
infancy by a medical man, thus obtaining ample 
proof of the pathological nature of his perversity, 
Rizz . . . would have been condemned as an ordinary 
criminal, because, like all morally insane persons, he 


was very intelligent and able to reason clearly, like a 
normal individual. 

Another typical case is that of a child named 
Rav. . . (see Fig. 12) a native of the Romagna, who 
was brought to my father at the age of eight, because 
his parents were convinced that his conduct was 
due to a morbid condition. Unlike the above- 
mentioned case, his evil acts were always carried 
out in an underhand way. He showed great spite 
towards his brothers and sisters, especially the 
smaller ones, whom he attempted to strangle on 
several occasions, and was expelled from school on 
account of the bad influence he exercised over his 
schoolfellows. He delighted above everything in 
robbing his parents, employers, and the neighbours 
and in falsely accusing others, and so cleverly did 
he manage this that he caused a great deal of 
mischief before his double-dealing was discovered. 
When only eight, on leaving home early every morn- 
ing to go to work, he would secretly throw all the milk 
left at the neighbours' doors into the dust-bin, then 
he accused the janitor of stealing it and got him 
dismissed. A year later, he nearly succeeded in 
causing the arrest of a pawnbroker, whom he ac- 
cused of having lent him money on a cloak, it being 
illegal in Italy to accept anything in pawn from a 
minor. The cloak, however, was discovered by his 


mother hidden in the cellar. At ten years of age, he 
alleged that his father had brutally ill-treated him, 
and as severe marks and bruises on his body gave 
colour to the accusation, the poor man was arrested. 
The marks, however, were self-inflicted. 

Another boy, a certain Man . . . , a peasant from 
the Val d' Aosta, an Alpine valley in Piedmont, 
where cretinism is indigenous, exhibited perverse 
tendencies from his earliest infancy. When twelve 
years old, he killed his companion in a squabble 
over an egg. (See Fig. 13.) 

In the above-mentioned cases, the subjects all 
belonged to well-to-do or honest families and the 
pathological heredity was therefore exclusively ner- 
vous, not criminal. For this reason, the parents 
were struck by the abnormal depravity of their 
sons and had them medically examined and treated, 
thus discovering that they were morally insane. If, 
on the other hand, the parents had been criminals 
and had, themselves, set a bad example, nobody 
would have supposed that these depraved tendencies 
were innate in the children or had developed pre- 
cociously. The fact of the prevalence of moral 
insanity in neurotic families (with frequent cases 
of lunacy, alcoholism, etc.) rather than in those of 
criminal tendencies appears at first sight strange, but 
according to the new theory advanced by my father, 

5 ^ 



the criminal is a mentally diseased person; and we 
shall see in a later chapter that the heredity of 
insane, neurotic, and dipsomaniac parents is com- 
pletely equivalent to a criminal heredity. 

Proofs of Analogy. Thus the genesis and early 
manifestations, which might have been diverse, 
really constitute a counter-proof. Careful anam- 
nesis shows that both born criminals and the morally 
insane begin at a very early age to exhibit symptoms 
of the morbid tendencies which make them such a 
danger to society, and if the general public and the 
police, when such cases are brought to their notice, 
usually fail to realise that they arise from pre- 
cocious perversity, it is because atrocious actions 
are excused on the ground of extreme youth and 
attributed to this cause rather than to vicious pro- 
pensities. In many cases, indeed, they are revealed 
only to the physician. 

A counter-proof is likewise furnished by investiga- 
tions of the origin of these pathological cases, since the 
study of born criminals shows that they, as well as the 
morally insane, are as frequently the offspring of in- 
sane, epileptic, neurotic, and drunken parents as of 
criminals, but in the latter case, the morbid origin of 
their perversity is seldom brought to light owing to 
the criminality of the parents, who naturally view 
with indifference symptoms of vice in their children. 


Epileptics, and their Relation to Born Crim- 
inals AND THE Morally Insane 

We have already stated that the physical and 
psychic characteristics of born criminals coincide 
with those of the morally insane. Both are identical 
with those of another class of degenerates, known to 
the world as epileptics. 

The term epilepsy was applied to a malady fre- 
quently studied but little understood by the ancient 
medical world, the chief symptoms of which were 
repeated tonic and clonic fits, preceded by the so- 
called "epileptic aura" and followed by a deep sleep. 
It was called morbus sacer and believed to be of 
divine origin. 

Careful examination of epileptics by clinical and 
mental experts, showed that in addition to the 
characteristic seizure, these unfortunate beings were 
subject to other phenomena, which sometimes took 
the place of the convulsive fit and in other cases 
preceded or followed it. These were pavor noc- 
turnus, sudden sweats, heat, neuralgia, sialorrhea, 
periodical cephalalgia and, above all, vertigo; and 
these symptoms were not always accompanied by 
unconsciousness nor followed by coma. Sometimes 
the seizure was only manifested by paroxysms of rage 
or ferocious and brutal impulses (devouring ani- 


mals alive), which, if consciously committed, would 
be considered criminal. This fact led doctors and 
mental experts to examine other patients, and they 
were able to advance positive proof that a certain 
number of epileptics never experience the typical 
seizure, the disease being manifested in this milder 
form with cephalalgia, sialorrhea, delirious ferocity, 
and above all, giddiness. 

The multiformity of epilepsy has been fully con- 
firmed by the experiments of Luciani, Zehen, and 
others, who produced various forms of epilepsy by 
submitting different cerebral zones to varying degrees 
of irritation. By graduating the electric current, 
Rosenbach was able to provoke the whole series of 
epileptic phenomena described above, from the 
mildest to the most serious manifestations. A 
slight irritation of the motor areas gave rise to 
tetanic contractions and clonic convulsions in a 
given joint; an increase in the strength of the current 
produced more violent movements which spread 
over the whole limb, and by intensifying the cur- 
rent still further, to half the body. Finally, on the 
application of a very strong current, the typical 
fit was produced with clonic spasms in all the 
body, unconsciousness, nystagmus, and rigidity of 
the pupils. 

By irritating the frontal lobes of dogs, Richet 


and Bernard produced vertigo and certain physical 
phenomena (snuffing, barking, and biting). 

Taking these investigations as a basis, Jackson 
came to the conclusion that epileptic fits are due to 
a rapid and excessive explosion of the grey matter, 
which, instead of developing its force gradually, 
develops it all of a sudden because it is irritated. 
And as it has been shown conclusively that the 
disease can be manifested in such varied forms — 
vertigo, twitching of the muscles, sialorrhea, cepha- 
lalgia, fits of rage, and ferocious actions — which 
appear to be the equivalent of the typical seizure, 
individuals subject to these forms of neurosis 
should be classed as epileptics, even if they never 
experience the typical motor attack. 

It is in this category, which may be called at- 
tenuated epilepsy, that we should place criminals, 
who in addition to the psychic and physical char- 
acteristics of the epileptic, possess others peculiar 
to themselves. Physical anomalies (plagiocephaly, 
microcephaly, macrocephaly, strabismus, facial and 
cranial asymmetry, prominent frontal sinuses, 
median occipital fossa, receding forehead, project- 
ing ears, progeneismus, and badly shaped teeth) are 
characteristic both of criminals and epileptics, as 
was demonstrated in certain epileptics treated by 
my father (Figs. 14 and 15), and the same holds 

Fig. 14 

An Epileptic Boy 
(see page 60) 


good of functional and histological anomalies. The 
histological anomaly discovered by Roncoroni in 
the frontal lobe of born criminals, consisting of the 
atrophy of the deep granular layer, the inversion of 
the pyramidal layers and small cells with enlargement 
and rarefaction of the pyramidal cells, and the exist- 
ence of nervous cells in the white substance, is found 
in about the same proportion in cases of non-criminal 
epileptics. ' We find also in the same proportion in 
the field of vision of epileptics, as of born criminals, 
the anomaly discovered by Ottolenghi, consisting of 
peripheral scotoma intersecting the nearly uniform 
line of varying size common to normal eyes. 

Psychological Characteristics. The complete iden- 
tity of epileptics, born criminals and the morally 
insane becomes evident as soon as we study their 

Epilepsy, congenital criminality, and moral in- 
sanity alone are capable of comprising in one clini- 
cal form intellectual divergencies which range from 
genius to imbecility. In epileptics, this divergence 
is sometimes manifested in one and the same person 
in the space of twenty -four hours. An individual 
at one time afflicted with loss of will-power and 
amnesia, and incapable of formulating the simplest 
notion, will shortly afterwards give expression to 
original ideas and reason logically. 


Contradictions and exaggerations of sentiment 
are salient characteristics of epileptics as of born 
criminals and the morally insane. Quarrelsome, 
suspicious, and cynical individuals suddenly become 
gentle, respectful, and affectionate. The cynic ex- 
presses religious sentiments, and the man who has 
brutally ill-treated his first wife, kneels before the 
second. An epileptic observed by Tonnini fancied 
himself at times to be Napoleon ; at others, he would 
lick the ground like the humblest slave. 

The extreme excitability manifested by born 
criminals is shared by epileptics. Distrustful, in- 
tolerant, and incapable of sincere attachment, a 
gesture or a look is sufficient to infuriate them and 
incite them to the most atrocious deeds. 

Epilepsy has a disastrous effect on the character. 
It destroys the moral sense, causes irritability, alters 
the sensations through constant hallucinations and 
delusions, deadens the natural feelings or leads them 
into morbid channels. 

Affection for Animals. The hatred frequently 
manifested by criminals and epileptics towards the 
members of their own families is in many cases ac- 
companied by an extraordinary fondness for animals 
as is shown by the cases of Caligula, Commodus, 
Lacenaire, Rosas, Dr. Francia, and La Sola, — ^who 
preferred kittens to her own children. \A morally 

Fig. 15 



(see page 60) 


insane individual known to my father would spend 
months in training dogs, horses, birds, geese, and 
other fowls. He was wont to remark that all ani- 
mals were friendly to him as though they recognised 
in him one of their own kind. Dostoyevsky's fellow- 
convicts showed great fondness for a horse, an eagle, 
and a number of geese. They were so attached to a 
goat that they wanted to gild its horns. 

Somnambulism. This is a frequent characteris- 
tic of epileptics. Krafft-Ebing says: 

" The seizure is often followed by a condition approaching 
somnambulism. The patient appears to have recovered con- 
sciousness, talks coherently, behaves in an orderly manner, 
and resumes his ordinary occupations. Yet he is not really 
conscious as is shown by the fact that, later he is entirely 
ignorant of what he has been doing during this stage. This 
peculiar state of mental daze may last a long time, sometimes 
during the whole interval between two seizures." 

Many of the criminals observed by Dostoyevsky 
were given to gesticulating and talking agitatedly 
in their sleep. 

Obscenity is a common characteristic. Kowa- 
lewsky {Archivio di Psichiatria, 1885) notes the re- 
semblance between the reproductive act and the 
epileptic seizure, the tonic tension of the muscles, 
loss of consciousness and mydriasis in both cases, and 
remarks also on the frequency with which epileptic 
attacks are accompanied by sexual propensities. 


The desire for sexual indulgence, like the taste 
for alcohol, is distinguished by the precocity peculiar 
to criminals and the morally insane. Precocious 
sexual instincts have been observed in children of 
four years, and in one case obscenity was manifested 
by an infant of one year. 

Marro {Annali di Freniatria, 1890) describes 
a child of three years and ten months, who had 
exhibited signs of epilepsy from birth and was of 
a jealous, irascible disposition. He was in the 
habit of scratching and biting his brothers and 
sisters, knocking over the furniture, hiding things, 
and tearing his clothes, and when unable to hurt or 
annoy others, would vent his rage upon himself. If 
punished, he would continue his misdeeds in an 
underhand way. 

Another child had been afflicted with convulsions 
from his earliest infancy, in consequence of which his 
character deteriorated, and while still a mere infant, 
he behaved with the utmost violence. He killed a 
cat, attempted to strangle his brother, and to set fire 
to the house. 

Invulnerability, another characteristic common 
to criminals, has been observed by Tonnini in 
epileptics, whose wounds and injuries heal with 
astonishing rapidity, and he is inclined to regard 
this peculiarity in the light of a reversion to a stage 


of evolution, at which animals like lizards and sala- 
manders were able to replace severed joints by 
new growths. This invulnerability is shared by all 
degenerates: epileptics, imbeciles, and the morally 

"One of these latter," says Tonnini, "tore out 
his moustache bodily and with it a large piece of 
skin. In a few days the wound was nearly healed." 

Very characteristic is the almost automatic 
tendency to destroy animate and inanimate objects, 
which results in frequent wounding, suicides, and 
homicides. This desire to destroy is also common to 
children. Fernando P. (Fig. 15), an epileptic treated 
by my father, when enraged was in the habit of 
smashing all the furniture within his reach and 
throwing the pieces over a wall some twenty-five 
feet high. 

Misdea, a regimental barber, to whom we shall 
refer later, roused to fury by dismissal from his 
post, broke four razors into small pieces with his 
teeth. Another epileptic, Piz . . . used to break all 
the crockery in his cell regularly every other day, 
"just to give vent to his feelings." 

This tendency to destroy everything in the cell 
is common also to ordinary criminals. 

Cases of Moral Insanity with Latent Epileptic 
Phenomena. The following cases, which were treated 


by my father and which were subject to careful 
observation and study, will serve to give a clear 
idea of the criminal form of epilepsy. 

Subject: Giuliano Celestino, age i6. Yellow 
skin abundantly tattooed, absence of hair on face 
or body. Cranium: plagiocephaly on the left 
frontal and right parietal regions, obliquely-placed 
eyes, narrow forehead, prominent orbital arches, 
line of the mouth horizontal as in apes, lateral in- 
cisors of upper jaw resembling the canines with 
rugged margins, excessive zygomatic and maxillary 
development, tactile sensibility very obtuse, do- 
lorific sensibility non-existent on the right, very 
obtuse on the left, rotular reflex action exaggerated 
on the right, very feeble on the left. Devoid of 
natural feeling. When asked if he was fond of his 
mother, he replied: ''When she brings me cigars and 
money." When questioned concerning his crimes 
he showed neither shame nor confusion. On the 
contrary, he confessed with a smile that when only 
ten he had tried to kill his youngest brother, who 
was then an infant in the cradle, and when hindered 
by his mother, had struck and bitten her. His 
father was a drunkard afflicted with syphilis, and 
Giuliano had suffered from epilepsy from the age of 
seven. At this age he began to indulge in alcohol 
and self -abuse, and stole from his parents in order 


to buy sweets. He appears to have been subject to 
an ambulatory mania, which, caused him to wander 
aimlessly about the country, and if kept within doors 
he would let himself down from the windoWs, climb 
up the chimney, or, failing in these attempts to 
escape, would break the furniture and attract the 
attention of the neighbours by his terrific yells. 
From the age of eight, despite his parents' efforts to 
apprentice him, he was always immediately dis- 
missed by his employers. He ran away with a stroll- 
ing company of acrobats, and later apprenticed 
himself to a butcher in order to revel in the horrors 
of the slaughter-house. At fifteen he was confined 
in a reformatory, where he twice attempted to 
escape and to set fire to the building, and was sen- 
tenced to two years' imprisonment. For the space 
of a few days, he appears to have suffered from 
epileptic attacks, although in a masked form, ac- 
companied by various attempts at suicide. These 
were renewed every other month for a whole year. 
When asked what he would do for a living when re- 
leased, he would reply laughingly that there was 
plenty of money in other people's pockets. 

L. . . a morally insane subject, age 16, native of 
Turin, the son of an aged, but extremely respect- 
able man. Height 1.50 m., weight, 46.2 kg., with 
abundant hair, and down on the forehead, incisors 


crowded together, excessive development of the 
canines, and exaggerated orbital angle of the frontal 
bone. He was entirely devoid of affection for his 
family, remarking cynically that he was fond of his 
father when he gave him money and did not worry 
him. Sometimes he kicked the poor old man and 
otherwise abused him. When unable to obtain 
money, he would smash all the furniture in the house, 
until, for the sake of economy, his family gave him 
what he wanted. In order to get a five-pound note 
from money-lenders he would sign promissory notes 
for ten times that amount. He changed his ideas 
from one hour to another. Sometimes he wanted to 
enter the army, at others to emigrate to France, etc. 
When only fourteen he frequented houses of ill- 
fame, where he played the bully. 

Although this case may be regarded as a typical 
instance of moral insanity, there were apparently 
no symptoms of vertigo or convulsions. At the 
age of sixteen, however, while suffering from rheu- 
matism, this subject tried to throw himself from the 
balcony of his bedroom at the same hour three nights 
running. After this he seems to have suffered from 

These frenzied attempts at self-destruction, which 
seem to have taken the place of the epileptic 
seizure, were related to my father casually by the 


boy's mother; but in other cases, similar incidents, 
although of the utmost importance to the crimino- 
logist, often pass unnoticed. 

In the Actesdu Congres d'Anthropologie, Angelucci 
describes another typical case of epileptic moral 
insanity. E. G. (brother a criminal epileptic, 
father a sufferer from cancer) was sentenced several 
times for assaulting people often without motive. 
Tattooed with the figure of a naked woman, micro- 
cephalous (39.2 cubic inches = 589 c.c), having cranial 
and facial asymmetry, he was vain, deceitful, and 
violent, and made great show of scepticism although 
he wore a great many medals of the Virgin. This 
subject was over twenty-five when the first epileptic 
seizure took place. 

The connection between epilepsy and crime is 
one of derivation rather than identity. Epilepsy 
represents the genus of which criminality and moral 
insanity are the species. 

The born criminal is an epileptic, inasmuch as he 
possesses the anatomical, skeletal, physiognomical, 
psychological, and moral characteristics peculiar to 
the recognised form of epilepsy, and sometimes also 
its motorial phenomena, although at rare intervals. 
More frequently he exhibits its substitutes (vertigo, 
twitching, sialorrhea, emotional attacks). But the 
criminal epileptic possesses other characteristics 


peculiar to himself; in particular, that desire of evil 
for its own sake, which is unknown to ordinary 
epileptics. In view of this fact this form of epilepsy 
must be considered apart from the purely nervous 
anomaly, both in the clinical diagnosis and the 
methods of cure and social prophylaxis. 

Moreover, the nervous anomaly, which in the 
case of criminals appears on the scene from time 
to time, accentuating the criminal tendency till 
it reaches the atavistic form and producing morbid 
complications which sometimes prove fatal, serves 
to point out the true nature of the disease and to 
emphasise the fact that while it is attenuated so far 
as motor attacks are concerned, it is aggravated on 
the other hand by criminal impulses, which render 
the patient semi-immune and permit him a longer 
and less troubled existence, but provoke a constant 
brain irritation, which clouds and disturbs his intel- 
lectual and moral nature. 

In order better to understand these two forms of 
epilepsy, we must recall two analogous forms of 
another and equally multiform disease, tuberculosis 
in its forms of quick consumption and scrofula. 
The etiology is identical and the symptoms fre- 
quently alike, but while the latter proceeds very 
slowly and allows the patient a long life, the former 
is rapid and severs life in its prime. 


In motory epilepsy, the irritation is manifested 
on a sudden, but leaves the mind healthy in the in- 
terval, although the attacks may lead to rapid 
dementia. In criminal epilepsy this irritation 
does not break out in violent seizures and is com- 
patible with a long life, but it changes the 
whole physical and psychic complexion of the 

The epileptic origin of criminality explains many 
characteristics of the criminal, the genesis of which 
was previously obscure. Many of the moral and 
physical peculiarities of born criminals and the 
morally insane may be classed as professional charac- 
teristics acquired through the habit of evil-doing, 
especially the naso-labial and zygomatic wrinkles, 
cynical expression, tapering fingers, etc. Many 
anomalies also in the bones, hair, ears, eyes, and the 
monstrous development of the jaws and teeth, must 
be explained by arrested development in the fifth or 
sixth month of intra-uterine existence, corresponding 
to the characteristics of inferior races by the usual 
law of ontogeny which recapitulates phylogeny. But 
there is a final series of anomalies, the origin of which 
was formerly wrapped in mystery: plagiocephaly, 
sclerosis, the thickening of the meninges, cranial 
asymmetry, and other changes in the cerebral layers, 
which can be explained only by a disease altering 


precociously the whole cerebral conformation, as is 
exactly the case in epilepsy. 

The born criminal is an epileptic, not however 
afflicted with the common form of this disease, but 
with a special kind. The pathological basis, the 
etiology, and the anatomical and psychological 
characteristics are identical, but there are many 
differences. While in the ordinary form motor 
anomalies are very common, in the criminal form 
they are very rare, while in ordinary epilepsy the 
mental explosions are accompanied by unconscious- 
ness, in the other form they are weakened and spread 
over the whole existence, and consciousness is, rela- 
tively speaking, preserved; and while, finally, the 
ordinary epileptic has not always the tendency to 
do evil for its own sake — nay, may even achieve 
holiness — in the hidden form the bent towards evil 
endures from birth to death. The perversity con- 
centrated in one second in the motor attack, is at- 
tenuated in the second form, but spread over the 
whole existence. We have therefore an epilepsy sui 
generis, a variety of epilepsy which may be called 

Thus the primitive idea of crime has become 
organic and complete. The criminal is only a dis- 
eased person, an epileptic, in whom the cerebral 
malady, begun in some cases during prenatal exist- 


ence, or later, in consequence of some infection or 
cerebral poisoning, produces, together with certain 
signs of physical degeneration in the skull, face, teeth, 
and brain, a return to the early brutal egotism 
natural to primitive races, which manifests itself in 
homicide, theft, and other crimes. 


General Forms of Criminal Lunacy 

EPILEPTIC born criminals and the morally insane 
may be classed as lunatics under certain 
aspects, but only by the scientific observer and pro- 
fessional psychologist. Outside these two forms, 
there is an important series of offenders, who are 
not criminals from birth, but become such at a 
given moment of their lives, in consequence of an 
alteration of the brain, which completely upsets 
their moral nature and makes them unable to 
discriminate between right and wrong. They are 
really insane; that is, entirely without responsibility 
for their actions. 

Nearly every class of mental derangement con- 
tributes a special form of crime. 

The Idiot is prompted by paroxysms of rage to 
commit murderous attacks on his fellow-creatures. 
His exaggerated sexual propensities incite him to 



rape, and his childish delight at the sight of flames, 
to arson. 

The Imbecile, or weak-minded individual, yields to 
his first impulse, or, dominated by the influence of 
others, becomes an accomplice in the hope of some 
trivial reward. 

The victims of Melancholia are driven to suicide 
by suppressed grief, precordial agitation, or hallu- 
cinations. Sometimes the suicidal attempt is indirect 
and takes the form of the murder of some important 
personage or their own kin, in the hope that their 
own condemnation may follow, or it is to save those 
dear to them from the miseries of life. 

Persons afflicted with General Paralysis fre- 
quently steal, in the belief that everything they see 
belongs to them, or because they are incapable of 
understanding the meaning of property. If accused 
of theft, they deny their guilt or assert that the 
stolen articles have been hidden on their persons 
by others. They are inclined to forgery and fraud- 
ulent bankruptcy, and when their misdeeds are 
brought home to them they show no shame. 
Unnatural sexual offences and crimes against the 
authorities are also common. While they are 
seldom guilty of murder, they frequently commit 
arson, through carelessness, or with the idea of 
destroying their homes because they think them 


too small, or wish to get rid of the vermin in 
them, such as rats. 

The sufferer from Dementia forgets his promises, 
however serious they may be. Cerebral irritability 
often leads him to commit violent acts, homicide, 

In some cases, mental alienation is manifested in 
a mania for litigation, which urges the sufferer to 
offend statesmen, state lawyers, and judges. 

A common symptom of Pellagra is the tendency 
to unpremeditated murder or suicide, without the 
slightest cause. The sight of water suggests drown- 
ing, in the form of murder or suicide. 

Yoimg persons at the approach of puberty and 
women subject to amenorrhea often exhibit a 
tendency to arson and crimes of an erotic nature. 
Similar tendencies are sometimes displayed during 
pregnancy, and an inclination to theft is not un- 

Maniacs are prone to satyriasis and bacchanalian 
excesses. They commit rape and indecent acts in 
public and often appropriate strange objects, hair 
or wearing apparel, with the idea of obtaining means 
to satisfy their vices, either because they are uncon- 
scious of doing wrong or because, like true megalo- 
maniacs, they believe the stolen goods to be their 
own property. Sometimes a feverish activity 


prompts them to steal; "I felt a kind of uneasiness, a 
demon in my fingers," said one, " which forced me to 
move them and carry off something." 

Monomaniacs, especially if subject to hallucina- 
tions, frequently manifest a tendency to homicide, 
either to escape imaginary persecutions or in obedi- 
ence to equally imaginary injunctions. The same 
motives prompt them to commit special kinds of 
theft and arson. Na . . . (see Fig. 16) murdered his 
friend without any reason, after suffering from 
delusions for one year. 

The characteristics of insane criminals are so 
marked that it is not difficult to distinguish them 
from habitual delinquents. They seldom show any 
fear of the penalty incurred nor do they try to escape. 
They take little trouble to hide their misdeeds, or to 
get rid of any clue. If poisoners, they leave poison 
about in their victim's room; if forgers, they take 
no trouble to make their signatures appear genuine; 
if thieves, they exhibit stolen goods in public, or 
appropriate them in the presence of witnesses. 
They frequently manifest unbounded rage and 
assault those present, entirely forgetting the stolen 
objects. Once their crime is accomplished, not 
only do they give themselves no trouble to hide it, 
but are prone to confess it immediately, and are 
eager to talk about it, saying with satisfaction that 


they feel relieved at what they have done, that they 
have obeyed the order of superior beings and con- 
sider their actions praiseworthy. They deny that 
they are insane, or if they admit it in some cases, it 
is only because they are persuaded to do so by their 
lawyers or fellow-prisoners. And even then, they 
are ready at the first opportunity to contradict the 
idea, eulogising and exaggerating their criminal acts. 

A full confession in court is not uncommon, and 
in the case of impulsive monomaniacs, epileptics, 
and insane inebriates, the descriptions are full of 
characteristic expressions, showing what was the 
offender's state of mind when dominated by criminal 

Rom . . . , an impulsive monomaniac, who stabbed 
an acquaintance, felt "the blood rushing to his head, 
which seemed to be in flames." 

Tixier narrates that, on seeing the old man he 
afterward murdered pass him on a country road, 
"something went to his head." Frequently such 
criminals are quick to give themselves up to justice. 

Antecedents. Unlike the ordinary offender, in- 
sane criminals are often perfectly law-abiding up 
to the moment of the crime. 

Motive. Perhaps the greatest difference between 
born criminals and insane criminals lies in the mo- 
tive for the act, which in the case of the latter is 


not only entirely disproportionate to it, but nearly 
always absurd and depends far less on personal 

Here are a few typical cases : A father fancies he 
hears a voice bidding him kill his favourite child. 
He goes home, has the little victim dressed in its 
best clothes and cuts off its head with perfect calm- 
ness. A lady, ignorant of horticulture, plants some 
flowers on her husband's grave. A day or two later, 
noticing that they are drooping, she imagines that 
the gardener has watered them with boiling water, 
and after reproaching him bitterly, wounds him 
with a pair of scissors. 

These unfortunate beings frequently show per- 
fect mental clearness before the crime and even in 
the act of striking the fatal blow; yet their action is 
purely instinctive and not prompted by passion or 
any other cause. Although such individuals appear 
to reason, can it be said that they are in full posses- . 
sion of their mental faculties? If they are, how 
shall we explain the wholesale destruction of those 
they hold most dear? A husband kills the wife to 
whom he is sincerely attached; a father, the son he 
loves most; or a mother, the infant at her breast. 

Such an extraordinary phenomenon can only be 
explained by a sudden suspension of the intellect- 
ual and moral faculties and of the powers of the will. 


Special Forms of Criminal Insanity 

In addition to these casual forms of lunacy, in 
which the individual is led to commit crime by a 
momentary alteration of his moral nature, we find 
other forms which might be called specific, because 
the criminal act forms the culminating point of the 
malady. The sufferers from these forms are less 
easily distinguished from ordinary criminals and 
normal persons than are the lunatics of whom we 
have just spoken. These mental diseases, which 
should be studied separately, are alcoholism, hys- 
teria, and epilepsy. 

It is well known that temporary drunkenness 
may transform an honest, peacable individual into 
a rowdy, a murderer, or a thief. 

Gall narrates the case of a certain Petri, who 
manifested homicidal tendencies when excited by 
alcohol. Locatelli mentions a workman of thirty, 
who, when under the influence of drink, would smash 
everything around him and stab the companions 
who sought to restrain his drunken fury. Ladelci 
and Carmignani cite the case of a miner, who was 
repeatedly arrested for drunken brawls, and when 
reproved replied: "I cannot help it. As soon as 
I drink, I must start fighting." 


Very characteristic is the case of a certain Papor . . . 
who was imprisoned for some time at Turin. 
His father was a drunkard and ill treated his wife. 
The son became a soldier, then an excise officer, 
fireman, and finally nurse in an infirmary, and was 
known as a respectable, temperate man. In 1876, 
he was transferred to the Island of Lipari, where 
malvoisie only costs 25 centimes a litre, and there 
he acquired a taste for wine, without, however, 
drinking to excess. But a year later, a change in 
the hospital regulations gave him longer hours of 
leisure, and he began to drink deeply. In 1 88 1 , while 
intoxicated, he accosted a sportsman and pretending 
to be a police officer, ordered him to give up his gun. 
At that moment he was arrested by a genuine 
constable and taken to the barracks, where he was 
sentenced, without any one's observing his drunken 
condition. After his release, he committed other 
offences of the same type, which were followed by 
confession and repentance. 

Chronic Alcoholism. The phenomena developed 
by chronic inebriety are, however, still more import- 
ant from the point of view of the criminologist 
than the immediate effects of alcohol on certain 

Physical and Functional Characteristics of Chronic 
Inebriety. The habitual drunkard rarely exhibits 


traces of congenital degeneracy, but frequently 
that of an acquired character, especially paresis, 
facial hemiparesis, slight exophthalmia (see Fig. 6), 
inequality of the pupils, insensibility to touch and 
pain, which is often unilateral, especially in the 
tongue, thermoanalgesia, hypersesthesia, experienced 
at various points not corresponding to the nervous 
territories and modified spontaneously or by esthe- 
siogenic agents (Grasset), alphalgesia (sensation of 
pain at contact with painless bodies) , a deficiency of 
urea in the urine, out of proportion to the general 
state of nourishment, and a proneness of the symp- 
toms to return after trauma, poisoning, agitation, or 
serious illness. 

The gravest phenomena, however, are atrophy 
or degeneration in the liver, heart, stomach, seminal 
canaliculi, and central nervous system, which give 
rise to serious functional disturbances; most of all, 
in the digestion — as manifested by the characteris- 
tic gastric catarrh, matutinal vomit and cramp — 
and in the reproductive system, with resulting 

Psychic Disturbances — Hallucinations. The most 
frequent and precocious symptoms are delusions 
and hallucinations, generally of a gloomy or even 
of a terrible nature, and extremely varied and 
fleeting, which, like dreams, in nearly every in- 

Fig. i6 

Italian Criminal 

A Case of Alcoholism 

(see page 82) 


stance arise from recent and strong impressions. 
The most characteristic hallucinations are those 
which persuade the patient that he experiences the 
contact of disgusting vermin, corpses, or other horri- 
ble objects. He is gnawed by imaginary worms, 
burnt by matches, or persecuted by spies and the 

The strange pathological conditions resulting 
from chronic alcoholism give rise to other fearful 
hallucinations. Cutaneous an£esthesia and alcoholic 
anaphrodisia make the sufferers fancy they have lost 
the generative organs, nose, legs, etc. ; dyspepsia, ex- 
haustion, and paresis, that they have been poisoned 
or are being persecuted. The reaction following 
excessively prolonged stimuli causes furious lype- 
mania and gloomy fancies. Sometimes chronic 
inebriates believe that they are accused of imaginary 
crimes and loaded with chains amid heaps of corpses. 
They implore mercy and try to kill themselves in 
order to escape from their shame; or they remain 
motionless, bewildered, and terrified. Not infre- 
quently, because of the profound faith, which, unlike 
many other lunatics, they have in their hallucina- 
tions, they pass from melancholy broodings to a fit 
of mad energy, often of a homicidal or suicidal 
nature. They imagine they are struggling with 
thieves or wild beasts and hurl themselves from the 


window or rush naked through the streets, kilHng 
the first person that crosses their path. In some, 
this deHrium of energy breaks out suddenly Hke 
an epileptic attack, which it resembles in its brevity 
and intensity. With hair standing on end, they 
rush about like savage beasts, grinding their teeth, 
biting, rending their clothes, or tearing up the sod, 
or hurling themselves from some height. These 
symptoms are preceded by vertigo, periodical 
cephalalgia, and flushing of the face, and are mani- 
fested more frequently by those who are already 
predisposed through trauma to the head, or through 
typhus or heredity, or after great agitation and pro- 
longed fasting, and often bear no relation to the 
quantity of alcohol imbibed, which may be small, 
or to the general physical state; but depend on 
cerebral irritation caused by chronic alcoholism. 
The attacks may disappear in a few hours without 
leaving the slightest recollection in the mind of the 
patient (Krafft-Ebing, p. 182). They are, in short, 
a species of disguised epilepsy, and thus they may 
well be styled, since true alcoholic epilepsy is noted 
in many inebriates, specially in absinthe-drinkers. 

Apathy. Another characteristic almost invari- 
ably found in inebriates who have committed a 
crime, is a strange apathy and indifference, a total 
lack of concern regarding their state — o, trait com- 


mon also to ordinary criminals, but in a less marked 
degree. They make themselves at home in prison 
without showing the faintest interest in their trial 
or in the offence which has caused their arrest, and 
only when brought before the judge do they rouse 
themselves for a moment from their lethargy. 

A well-educated man, after a varied career as 
doctor, chemist, and clerk, during which time he had 
been constantly dismissed from his posts for drunk- 
enness, met a policeman in the street and killed 
him, in the belief that the officer wanted to arrest 
him. When taken to prison, the first thing he did 
was to write to his mother begging her to send him 
some pomade. When interrogated, he informed 
the examining magistrate that the interrogatory was 
useless, since he had already chosen a fresh trade, 
that of photographer. It was only after several 
months of total abstinence in prison, that he began 
to come to his senses and to realise the gravity of 
his situation. (Tardieu, De la Folie, 1870.) 

Contrast between Apathy and Impulsiveness. This 
apathy alternates with strange impulses, which, 
although strongly at variance with the patient's 
former habits, he is unable to control, even when he 
is aware that they are criminal. 

Crimes peculiar to Inebriates. Since modifica- 
tion of the reproductive organs is a common cause of 


hallucinations, inebriate criminals frequently suffer 
from a species of erotic delirium, during which they 
murder those whom they believe guilty of offences 
against themselves — generally their wives or mis- 
tresses. This is partly owing to the sexual nature 
of their hallucinations and partly to the wretched- 
ness of their homes, which are in such striking con- 
trast to the rosy dreams inspired by alcohol and 
which tend to increase the melancholy natural to 
drunkards. They imagine they are being deceived 
and their impotence derided, the most innocent 
gestures being interpreted as deadly insults. 

In the prison at Turin, my father had under 
observation two of these unfortunate beings, one a 
man of sixty and the other quite young. Both had 
murdered their wives with the most revolting 
cruelty, because they believed them to be unfaith- 
ful, although in reality both the women led blame- 
less lives. 

Course of the Disease. The continued abuse of 
alcohol ends at last in complete dementia or general 
pseudo-paralysis. The body is at first obese, but 
rapidly loses flesh, the skin becomes greasy and 
damp, owing to hypersecretion of the sebaceous and 
sudoriparous glands, and soils the garments. Mem- 
ory becomes enfeebled, speech uncertain and de- 
fective (dysarthria) , the association of ideas sluggish, 


sensibility blunted, perception confused, judgment 
erroneous, and every species of regular and continued 
application impossible. The earlier hallucinations 
reappear, but in a less vivid form and only at long 
intervals; then paralysis more or less rapidly be- 
comes general and ends in death. 


We have spoken of this disease in another chap- 
ter and have shown that the born criminal is in 
reality an epileptic, in whom the malady, instead 
of manifesting itself suddenly in strange muscular 
contortions or terrible spasms, develops slowly in 
continual brain irritation, which causes the in- 
dividual thus affected to reproduce the ferocious 
egotism natural to primitive savages, irresistibly 
bent on harming others. 

But besides these epileptics, who are morally 
insane from their birth and pass their lives in prisons 
and lunatic asylums, without any one being able to 
mark the exact boundary between their perversity 
and their irresponsibility; besides these individuals, 
whom society has a right, nay a moral obligation, to 
remove from its midst because they are ever a source 
of danger there are those who are afflicted with other 
forms of epilepsy; — forms in which irritation is 
manifested in seizures exactly similar to the typical 


convulsive fit, which they resemble also with regard 
to variation in intensity and duration. Generally 
speaking, they are likewise accompanied by com- 
plete loss of memory and consciousness, but in some 
cases there may be partial or complete conscious- 
ness, and yet the sufferer is not responsible for his 
actions. This variety of epilepsy, termed by Samt 
psychic epilepsy (epilepsy with psychic seizures), 
manifests itself at long intervals, sometimes only once, 
but more frequently twice or thrice in the course of 
a lifetime, and during the attack the personality of 
the individual undergoes a complete change. 

The attack is described by Samt as follows: 
During the seizure, the individual behaves like a 
somnambulist. Sometimes he is dazed, mute, and 
immovable; at others, he talks incessantly; at 
still others, he goes on with his ordinary occupa- 
tions, travelling, reading, and writing: but in every 
case his personality suffers a complete metamorpho- 
sis, his habits, actions, and even handwriting assume 
a different character. Sometimes he is seized by a 
mania for walking and tramps for miles; at others, 
he undertakes interminable railway journeys. Tissie 
{Les alienes voyageurs, 1887) cites cases of epileptics 
who travelled from Paris to Bombay, who covered 
71 kilometres on foot, and who wandered unconscious 
for 31 months. 


Sometimes epilepsy is manifested only by the 
tendency to undertake purposeless journeys, as in 
the case of Ferretti and a certain M . . . who visited 
the Mahdi in Africa and from thence travelled 
aimlessly to Australia. 

This ambulatory form of epilepsy is very common 
amongst lads of fourteen or fifteen. Scarcely a 
week passes without the police receiving informa- 
tion from parents that their son has disappeared 
from home with only a few pence in his pocket. 
The wanderer is discovered later, frequently in some 
small provincial town, which he has reached after 
tramping aimlessly for days, sleeping in barns, and 
living on charity. When questioned, the boy usually 
displays total ignorance regarding all that has 
happened to him during the interval. 

Dr. Maccabruni in his Notes on Hidden Forms of 
Epilepsy, 1886, narrates the case of an epileptic, 
who during childhood received an injury to his 
skull. Later, he started out on a series of wander- 
ings to Venice, Padua, Rome, Milan, Monaco, and 
Mentone. His journeys, especially those to dis- 
tant parts, were undertaken in a state of uncon- 
sciousness and generally a short time before the 
commencement of a fit. 

These attacks may last any length of time, 
from a few minutes to several months. In one of 


the cases observed by my father, the attack lasted 
a fortnight. The patient, a young officer with 
whom we were personally acquainted, was one of 
the quietest persons possible, but suddenly he was 
seized with a mania for writing innumerable letters, 
especially on stamped paper, in exaggeratedly 
large writing very different from his usual style. 
These letters, which were full of absurdities, were 
posted by the writer from the different towns he 
passed through on his aimless journeyings, which 
lasted a whole fortnight. During one of these 
seizures, he was arrested as a deserter and was 
unable to give any explanation of his conduct. 

In this particular patient, the disease assumed the 
mild form of absurd letters and still more absurd 
journeys, but other individuals in the same state 
may commit criminal acts like homicide, equally 
without reason or gain to themselves. Once the 
fit is passed, these unfortunate individuals have 
generally no recollection of their past actions, and 
since in their normal state they are quiet, law- 
abiding persons, it is extremely difficult to trace 
back the deed to the right source, or to discover the 
disease, because they show no other symptoms of 
epilepsy, apart from the particular criminal act. 

Samt describes a still more complicated form of 
this psychic seizure, in which the personality is 


altered without there being any loss of conscious- 
ness. In a case of this kind, a servant, after forty 
years of faithful service, murdered his old mistress 
during the night, having previously cut all the bell- 
wires to prevent communication with the other 
servants. He escaped with some valuables, but 
returned in a few days and gave himself up to the 
police, to whom he gave a detailed account of his 
crime without showing either horror or remorse. 
He was tried and condemned, and a few months 
later was again seized with epileptic fits during one 
of which he died. Samt, who saw him in this state, 
came to the conclusion that the murder had been 
committed during a similar seizure and he was able 
to prove that attacks of this kind are not necessarily 
accompanied by loss of consciousness. 

As in the above case, these psychic attacks are 
sometimes accompanied by an insatiable thirst for 
blood, destruction and violence of all kinds, as well 
as by an extraordinary development of muscular 
strength with apparent lucidity of mind. They 
may last from a few minutes to half an hour, after 
which the patient falls into a sound sleep and for- 
gets everything that has happened, or else retains 
only a vague recollection. 

Such was the case of the epileptic Misdea, which 
first suggested to my father the idea of a link between 


crime and epilepsy. As this case has become famous 
in the annals of crime in Italy, it will perhaps be 
of interest to the reader. Misdea, the son of de- 
generate parents, manifested a series of typical 
epileptic anomalies — asymmetry, vaso-motor dis- 
turbances, impulsiveness, ferocity, etc. At the age 
of twenty, while serving in the army, for some 
trivial motive he suddenly attacked and killed his 
superior officer and eight or ten soldiers who tried 
to overpower him. Finally he was bound and 
placed in a cell, where he fell into a sound slum- 
ber and on awaking had entirely forgotten what 
he had done. He was condemned to death, but 
my father, who examined him medically, was able 
to prove conclusively that the crime had been 
committed during an attack of epilepsy. 

The physical and psychic characters of this class 
of epileptic are those common to all non-criminal 
epileptics, and indeed we are justified in considering 
them insane rather than criminal, because, with the 
exception of the attack, which assumes this terrible 
form, they do not manifest criminal tendencies. 


Hysteria is a disease allied to epilepsy, of which 
it appears to be a milder form, and is much more 
common among women than men in the ratio of 


twenty to one. The disease may frequently be 
traced to hereditary influences, similar to those 
found in epilepsy, transmitted by epileptic, neurotic, 
or inebriate parents, frequently also, to some trau- 
matic or toxic influence, such as typhus, meningitis, 
a blow, a fall, or fright. 

Physical Characteristics. These are fewer than 
in epileptics. The most common peculiarities are 
small, obliquely-placed eyes of timid glance, pale, 
elongated face, crowded or loosened teeth, nervous 
movements of the face and hands, facial asym- 
metry, and black hair. 

Functional Characteristics. These are of great 
importance. Hysterical subjects manifest special 
sensibility to the contact of certain metals such 
as magnetised iron, copper, and gold. Character- 
istic symptoms are the insensibility of the larynx or 
the sensation of a foreign body in it {globus hysteri- 
cus), neuralgic pains, which disappear with extreme 
suddenness, reappearing often on the side opposite 
that where they were first felt, the prevalence of 
sensory and motor anomalies on one side (hemianses- 
thesia) , the confusion of different colours (dyschroma- 
topsia) ; greater sensibility in certain parts of the 
body, such as the ovary and the breasts, which when 
subjected to pressure give rise to neuropathic phenom- 
ena (hysterogenous points) ; a sense of pleasure in the 


presence of pain, the abolition of pharyngeal reflex 
action, the absence of the sensation of warmth in 
certain parts of the body and a tendency to the so- 
called attacks of "hysterics." These characteris- 
tics, which are closely allied, if not precisely similar 
to those of epilepsy, are preceded by a number 
of premonitory symptoms — ^hallucinations, sudden 
change of character, contractions, laryngeal spasms, 
strabismus, frequent spitting, inordinate laughter 
or yawning, cardiac palpitations, loss of strength, 
trembling, anaesthesia and (just before the attack,) 
pains in some fixed spot, generally in the head, 
ovary, or nape of the neck. 

Psychology. The psychological manifestations of 
hysterical subjects are of still greater interest and 

They show, on the whole, a fair amount of in- 
telligence, although little power of concentration. 
In disposition they are profoundly egotistical and so 
preoccupied with their own persons that they will 
do anything to arouse attention and obtain noto- 
riety. They are exceedingly impressionable, therefore 
easily roused to anger and cruelty, and are prone to 
take sudden and unreasonable likes and dislikes. 
They are fickle and easily swayed. They take 
special delight in slandering others, and when unable 
to excite public notice by unfounded accusations, to 


which they resort as a means of revenge, they em- 
bitter the Hves of those around them by continual 
quarrels and dissensions. 

Susceptibility to Suggestion. Of still greater im- 
portance for the criminologist is the facility with 
which hysterical women are dominated by hypnotic 
suggestion. Their wills become entirely subordi- 
nated to that of the hypnotiser, by whose influence 
they can be induced to believe that they have 
changed their sex so that they forthwith adopt 
habits of the opposite sex, or to entertain idees 
fixes — strange, impulsive, or even criminal ideas. 
They are, in fact, obedient automatons when under 
hypnotic influence, but they cannot be prevailed 
upon to perform acts contrary to their nature, to 
commit crimes or reveal secrets entrusted to them, 
if they are naturally upright. 

Variability. Mobility of mood is a still more 
salient characteristic of hysteria. The subject 
passes with extraordinary rapidity from laughter 
to tears "like children," says Richet, "who laugh 
immoderately before their tears are dry." 

"For one hour," says Sydenham, "they will be 
irascible and discontented; the next, they are cheer- 
ful and follow their friends about with all the signs 
of the old attachment." 

Their sensibility is affected by the most trifling 


causes. A word will grieve them like some real 
misfortune. Their impulses are not lacking in in- 
tellectual control, but are followed by action with 
excessive rapidity. Although of such changeable 
disposition, they are subject to fixed ideas, to which 
they cling with a kind of cataleptic intensity. A 
woman will be dumb or motionless for months, on 
the pretext that speech or motion would injure her. 
But this is the only form of constancy they exhibit, 
otherwise they are indolent by nature. Sometimes 
they will show activity for a few days only to re- 
lapse again into idleness. 

Erotomania. This is almost a pathognomonical 
symptom and is shown in hallucinations and night- 
mares of an erotic character, preceded by epigastric 
aura. This erotomania is so impulsive that hysteri- 
cal women frequently engage in a liaison, from a 
desire of adventure or of experiencing sudden emo- 
tions. The criminality of the hysterical is always 
connected with the sexual functions. 

Of twenty-one women found guilty of slander, 
nine made false accusations of rape, four accused 
their husbands of sexual violence, and one of sodomy. 
Such accusations, when made by minors, are gen- 
erally full of disgusting details, which would be 
repugnant to any adult. 

Mendacity. Another peculiarity of hysterical 


women is the irresistible tendency to lie, which 
leads them to utter senseless falsehoods just for the 
pleasure of deceiving and making believe. They 
sham suicide and sickness or write anonymous letters 
full of inventions. Many, from motives of spite 
or vanity, accuse servants of dishonesty, in order 
to revel in their disgrace and imprisonment. The 
favourite calumny, however, is always an accusation 
of indecent behaviour, sometimes made against 
their fathers and brothers, but generally against a 
priest or medical man. The accusations, in most 
cases, are so strange and fantastic as to be quite 
unworthy of belief, but sometimes, unfortunately, 
they obtain credence. The commonest method 
adopted for spreading these calumnies is by means 
of anonymous letters. In one case, a young girl of 
twenty-five belonging to a distinguished family, 
pestered a respectable priest with love-letters and 
shortly afterwards accused him of seduction. An- 
other girl of eighteen informed the Attorney for the 
State that she had frequently been the victim of 
immoral priests and accused one of her female 
cousins of complicity. According to her story, 
while praying at church, a certain Abbot R. . . took 
her into the sacristy and entreated her to elope with 
him to Spain. She refused indignantly, and hoping 
to soften her, he twice stabbed himself in her 


presence, whereat she fainted, and on recovering 
consciousness, found the priest at her feet, begging 
forgiveness. She further accused the same cousin 
of having taken her to a convent, where she was 
seduced by a priest, the nuns acting as accomphces. 
A subsequent medical examination proved that no 
seduction had taken place and that she was suffering 
from hysteria. 

In another case, a girl of sixteen, the daughter of 
an Italian general, complained to her father that a 
certain lieutenant, her neighbour at table, had used 
indecent language to her. Shortly afterwards, a 
shower of anonymous letters troubled the peace of 
the household — declarations of love addressed to the 
girl's mother and threats to the daughter. It was 
discovered that the girl herself was the writer of 
all these letters. 

Anonymous letter-writing is so common among 
hysterical persons, that it may be considered a 
pathognomonical characteristic. The handwriting 
is of a peculiar character, or rather it shows a 
peculiar tendency to vary from excessive size to 
extreme smallness, a characteristic we have noticed 
in epileptics. 

Delirium. Hysterical, like epileptic, subjects 
often suffer from melancholia or monomaniacal 
delirium. Indeed, according to Morel, this symp- 


torn is more frequent when the other morbid 
phenomena are absent. 

Psychic hysteria, like epilepsy, may exist un- 
accompanied by the characteristic hysterical at- 
tack, and then, as is the case with epilepsy, it is 
most dangerous to society. 

In conclusion, although up to the present, medi- 
cal men have been disposed to consider hysteria as a 
disease distinct from epilepsy, careful study of this 
malady inclined my father to class it as a variation 
of epilepsy, prevalent among women, who in this 
disease, as in many others, manifest an attenuated 



\\J^ have seen how, owing to disease, alcohoHsm 
and epilepsy, physically and psychically de- 
generate individuals make their appearance in a 
community of normal persons. But a large pro- 
portion of the crimes committed cannot be attributed 
to lunatics, epileptics, or the morally insane, nor do 
all criminals show that aggregate of atavistic and 
morbid characters, — the cruelty and bestial insen- 
sibility of the savage, the impulsiveness of the 
epileptic, the licentiousness, delusions, and impetu- 
osity of the madman, — ^which we find united in the 
born criminal. 

According to statistics obtained by my father, the 
share contributed to the sum total of criminality by 
this latter type is only 33%, which appears to be a 
magic figure for the criminal, since it corresponds to 
the percentage of the histological anomaly discovered 
by Roncoroni and to that of all important anomalies. 


including those of the field of vision. But besides 
this percentage of born criminals, doomed even be- 
fore birth to a career of crime, whom all educational 
efforts fail to redeem and who therefore should be 
segregated at once; besides the epileptic, hysterical, 
and inebriate lunatics and those insane from alcohol- 
isation, of whom we have already spoken, there 
remain a number of criminals, amounting to a full 
half, in whom the virus is, so to speak, attenuated, 
who, although they are epileptoids, suffer from a 
milder form of the disease, so that without some 
adequate cause {causa criminis) criminality is not 
manifested. The inhibitory centres are somewhat 
obtuse, but not altogether absent, so that a healthy 
environment, careful training, habits of industry, 
the inculcation of moral and humane sentiments may 
prevent these individuals from yielding to dishonest 
impulses, provided always that no special tempta- 
tion to sin comes in their path. 

We have said that education is not sufficient 
to convert a criminal into an honest man. Con- 
versely, trials and difficulties and the want of edu- 
cation are powerless to make a criminal of an honest 
individual. Hypnotism, the most powerful means 
of suggestion possible, cannot induce a good man to 
commit a crime during the hypnotic sleep, but vicious 
training has an enormous influence on weak natures, 


who are candidates for good or evil according to 
circumstances. Such individuals were classified by 
my father as criminaloids . 

Physical Characteristics. Criminaloids have no 
special skeletal, anatomical, or functional peculiarities. 
As the criminaloid represents a milder type of the 
born criminal, he may possess the same physical 
defects in the skull, hair, beard, ears, eyes, teeth, lips, 
joints, hands, and feet, as well as all the sensory 
anomalies, lessened sensibility to touch and pain, 
hyper-sensibility to the magnet and barometrical 
variations, etc.; but all these anomalies are never 
found in the same proportion as in born criminals; 
that is, criminaloids never manifest the aggregate of 
physical and psychic peculiarities which distinguish 
born criminals and the morally insane. On the 
other hand, we find in criminaloids certain charac- 
teristics, such as premature greyness and baldness, 
etc., which are never exhibited by the born criminal. 
The real distinction between the criminaloid and the 
born criminal is psychological rather than physical. 

Psychological Characteristics. The difference be- 
tween born criminals and criminaloids becomes ap- 
parent directly on considering the age at which the 
latter enter on their anti-social career and the mo- 
tives which cause them to adopt it. While the 
born criminal begins to perpetrate crimes from the 


very cradle, so to speak, and always for very trivial 
motives, the criminaloid commits his initial offence 
later in life and always for some adequate reason. 

A criminal of this attenuated type, a certain Sal- 
vador, without cranial or facial anomalies, had led 
an honest life for many years, but on returning home 
after a prolonged absence on business, he found his 
house ransacked by his wife, who had deserted him. 
From that time he seems to have deliberately adopted 
a career of dishonesty, as the leader of a band of 

In another case, an engraver who showed no 
pathological anomalies, except excessive frontal 
sinuses, was ordered by a society to strike a medal 
for them. This happened to be exactly similar to 
a coin current in his coimtry and the coincidence 
incited him to the making of counterfeit coin. 

But the most characteristic case, which aroused 
much interest in its time, is that of Olivo. He was 
a man of handsome appearance, with normal olfac- 
tory acuteness and sensibility to touch and pain. 
He had, however, inherited from neurotic and insane 
forebears secondary epileptic phenomena, which sub- 
sequently developed into convulsive epilepsy, and 
certain indications of degeneracy (facial and cranial 
asymmetry, abnormal capillary vortices and length 
of arm, scotoma in the field of vision and exaggerated 


tendinous reflex action) . Up to the age of thirty he 
led an irreproachable life; in fact, he was scrupulous 
to excess, and this, coupled with pronounced conceit 
and stinginess, was his only fault. He married a 
woman of common origin, who was not really de- 
praved, but she was coarse and unfaithful, and, worst 
of all in his eyes, unscrupulous and wasteful. These 
defects, and her habits of lying and trickery em- 
bittered the poor man's existence. One night, feeling 
very ill, probably owing to an approaching seizure, 
he appealed to his wife for assistance and received 
an unfeeling reply, whereupon he sprang out of bed, 
picked up a knife and stabbed her. Afterwards he 
fell into a deep sleep. In order to obliterate all 
traces of the crime, he cut the corpse into small 
pieces, packed it into a portmanteau and threw it into 
the sea. Two months later, when he was arrested, 
he immediately made a full confession, showing deep 
repentance and sincere attachment to his victim, 
whose merits he celebrated in a poem of his own 
composition. At the trial, he made no attempt to 
defend himself; during the hearing of evidence, 
which appeared greatly to agitate him, he was seized 
with an epileptic fit. He was absolved by the jury 
and returned to his former peaceful occupation of 
bookkeeper, nor did he again come into conflict 
with the law. 


Reluctance to Commit Crimes. Another trait char- 
acteristic of criminaloids is the hesitation they show 
before committing a crime, especially the first time, 
when it is not done, as in the above mentioned case, 
during an epileptic seizure. 

Feuerbach's fine collection contains a description 
of the brothers Kleinroth, whose father cruelly ill- 
treated and starved his wife and family while lavish- 
ing his money on low women and their bastards. 
The sons were unwilling to run away and leave 
the invalid mother to bear the brunt of her hus- 
band's fury, and while they were in this terrible 
situation, a certain individual offered to assassinate 
their tormentor. After great hesitation this offer 
was accepted; when arrested, the youths immedi- 
ately confessed their complicity and manifested 
deep repentance. 

Confession. The criminaloid is easily induced to 
confess his misdeed. 

A certain C. . . on returning from abroad, found 
his former mistress married to his father. The pair 
resumed their liaison, but after a time, fearing a 
scandal, the woman threatened to drown herself 
unless her lover could find some means of adjusting 
matters on a satisfactory basis. C. . ., who disliked 
his father, poisoned him and disappeared with the 
widow taking with him a few valuables belonging to 


his father. A year later, the woman having died 
meanwhile, he returned home and made full con- 
fession, first to his sister and subsequently in 

Moral Sense — Intelligence. In the place of a 
weak, clouded, or unbalanced mind and that cynicism 
and absence of moral sense and natural feelings which 
distinguish born criminals of the most elevated type 
and even geniuses, criminaloids generally possess 
lucidity and balance of mind and may show them- 
selves worthy of guiding the destinies of a nation. 
The men implicated in the French Panama Scandal 
and the case of the Banca Romana (Bank of Rom.e) 
are instances. When under a cloud of disgrace, in- 
stead of that insensibility, cynicism, or levity common 
to true criminals, they show deep sorrow, shame, 
and remorse, which not infrequently result in serious 
illness or death. Their natural affections and other 
sentiments are normal. 

It is notorious, too, that as soon as accusations 
were made against those implicated in the French 
Panama Scandal and the affair of the Bank of Rome, 
the greater number became ill and two died suddenly 
at the end of the trial. 

Unlike born criminals, criminaloids manifest deep 
repugnance towards common offenders. They de- 
mand solitary confinement and forego exercise, the 


only recreation prison life affords, in order to avoid 
all contact with their fellow-prisoners. 

Social Position and Culture of the Criminaloid . 
Criminaloids, as we have seen, are recruited from all 
ranks of society and strike every note in the scale of 
criminality, from petty larceny to complicated and 
premeditated murder, from minting spurious coins to 
compassing gigantic frauds, which inflict incalculable 
damage upon the community. The magnitude of 
a crime does not imply greater criminality on the 
part of its author, but rather that he is a man of 
brilliant endowments, whose culture and talents 
multiply his opportunities and means for evil. In 
all cases where opportunity plays an important part, 
the crime must necessarily be committed by individ- 
uals exposed to special temptations: cashiers who 
handle other people's money, which they may be 
tempted to spend with the illusory idea of being able 
later to replace what they have taken, officials and 
public men, who possess a certain amount of power 
and an apparent impunity, and bankers who are 
entrusted with wealth belonging to others, of which 
in that capacity they are accustomed to make use. 
Thus is explained why men of great talent and 
only slight criminal tendencies have taken part in 
gigantic frauds, such as the affairs of the Bank of 
Rome and the French Panama Canal. 


A characteristic case is that of Lord S , First 

Lord of the Treasury, who committed forgeries to 
the extent of half a milHon sterHng. "No torture," 
he writes, "would be an adequate punishment for 
my crime. Step by step, I have become the author 
of innumerable misdeeds and ruined more than ten 
thousand families. With less talent and greater 
uprightness, I might be now what I once was, an 
honest man. Now remorse is in vain." 

In Lord S we find united all the character- 
istics of the criminaloid: repentance, the desire to 
confess, irreproachable antecedents, a strong incen- 
tive to dishonesty, and great intelligence. 

Although the damage inflicted on society by this 
man was probably far greater than any evil wrought 
by a vulgar born criminal could have been, his crim- 
inality is nevertheless of an attenuated type. The 
mischief he wrought owed its gravity, not to the 
intensity of his criminal tendencies, but to his 
remarkable talents, which increased his power for 
evil as for good. 

In this category of criminals must be inscribed 
those clever swindlers, who set the whole world 
talking of their exploits; Madame Humbert, Lemoine, 
and the cobbler-captain of Kopenick. 

Sometimes, especially in political or commercial 
criminals, we find cases of an auto-illusion, of which 


the author of the crime is as much a victim as the 
pubHc. Sometimes it is some device or mechanism 
which an inventor is convinced he has invented 
or is about to invent, an enterprise, in which the 
promoter imagines he will gain enormous wealth. 
Sometimes it is a trick in which the cupidity of the 
victims and their readiness to swallow promises of 
large and immediate profits play as important a 
part as the ability of the swindler. Sometimes it is 
a gigantic hoax, in which the deviser himself becomes 
keenly interested and for the carrying out of which he 
spends as much talent and energy as would suffice, 
if employed honestly, to acquire considerable wealth ; 
but the swindler delights in his ingenious fraud as 
though he were taking part in some thrilling drama. 

A typical instance is that of a certain C. . . who was 
imprisoned about twenty years ago for defrauding a 
woman. My father undertook to cure him while 
in prison and was able to follow him in his subsequent 
career. This C . . . was a young man of good 
family, intelligent, honest, and a good linguist. His 
countenance was pleasing and bore no trace of pre- 
cocious criminality. At the age of twenty he devel- 
oped an unrestrained love of gambling and in order 
to indulge this vice, promised to marry a rich woman 
considerably older than himself, from whom he 
borrowed large sums, on the understanding that they 


should be paid back. However, shortly afterwards, 
he fell in love with a young girl and married her. 
His ex-fiancee brought legal action against him 
and he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. 
During this time he shrank from seeing anybody 
and refused to exercise in order to avoid all contact 
with his fellow-prisoners. He showed great affection 
for his wife and declared his intention of turning 
over a new leaf. The offence he had committed, 
however seemed to cause him little or no regret, be- 
cause, as he said, he would never have continued the 
deception had not his victim shown such willingness 
to be gulled. From prison he went to London, where 
lack of funds caused him to perpetrate another 
swindle, but this time he was able to escape to Naples. 
Here for twelve years, he worked honestly in a 
large hotel, but once again a pressing need of 
money made him engage in a third fraud of con- 
siderable importance, for which he is still under- 
going imprisonment. 

Habitual Criminals 

The degrading influence of prison life and contact 
with vulgar criminals, or the abuse of alcohol, to 
which better natures frequently have recourse in 
order to stifle the pangs of conscience, may cause 
criminaloids who have committed their initial of- 


fences with repugnance and hesitation, to develop 
later into habitual criminals, — that is, individuals 
who regard systematic violation of the law in the 
light of an ordinary trade or occupation and commit 
their offences with indifference. 

Physically, habitual criminals do not resemble 
born criminals, but they exhibit some of the char- 
acteristics of those offenders from whom their 
ranks are recruited, besides, in a more marked 
degree, certain acquired characters, like sinister 
wrinkles and a shifty and sneaking look. 

Psychologically, criminaloids tend to resemble 
born criminals, whose habits, tastes, slang, tattooing, 
orgies, idleness, etc., they gradually develop, in the 
same way as old couples, living isolated in the 
country, adopt identical habits, gestures, and tone 
of voice. 

The type of criminaloid, who develops into an 
habitual criminal is well illustrated by the case of 
Eyraud, who in conjunction with Gabrielle Bom- 
pard, murdered Gouffre and packed the corpse in 
a trunk. Through his marked weakness for women, 
Eyraud became successively a deserter, a thief, and 
a murderer. He certainly possessed a few of the 
characteristics peculiar to degenerates — ^long, pro- 
jecting ears, excessive development, amounting to 
asymmetry, of the left frontal sinus, prognathism, 


exaggerated brachycephaly, and the span of the 
arms exceeding the total height, but he had not 
the general criminal type, his teeth were regular, 
beard abundant, and hair scanty. 

His psychology corresponds exactly to his physical 
individuality. During infancy and youth, he showed 
nothing abnormal, except an unusual predominance 
of the sexual instincts. He exhibited no signs of that 
love of evil for its own sake, so characteristic of 
criminals, above all, of murderers. According to all 
accounts, he was a jovial individual, fond of making 
merry, but at the same time, brusque and violent 
and easily roused to passionate fury. His extreme 
susceptibility to the attractions of the opposite sex 
made him regardless of all moral considerations. In 
order to gratify this weakness, he became a deserter, 
dissipated all the money he had earned in a dis- 
tillery and as a dealer in skins, and finally committed 
murder. At his trial, it was shown that before his 
escape to America, he had attempted to kill a woman 
who refused to leave her husband for him. He be- 
came violently enamoured of his accomplice, Ga- 
brielle Bompard, to whom, like many criminaloids, he 
was attracted by reason of her greater depravity. 

The extreme levity displayed by Eyraud seems 
to be the strongest link between him and the born 
criminal. He passed with extraordinary facility 


from gaiety to melancholy. His intellect was well 
developed, he spoke three or four languages, and was 
successful in most things he undertook, though he 
seems to have been incapable of remaining constant 
to anything for long. As a business man he wasted 
his capital, and even in the execution of his crimes 
he showed frivolity and incoherence. At Lyons, he 
hired a carriage, in which he placed the corpse of 
Gouffre and after driving about the streets with 
Gabrielle Bompard like a madman, left the body 
of his victim in a spot near which people were 
constantly passing. 

Eyraud appears to have been a dissolute crim- 
inaloid whose unbridled passions and connection 
with Gabrielle Bompard caused him to develop into 
an habitual criminal. This diagnosis is confirmed 
by the absence of morbid heredity. 

It would be futile to cite a long series of cases, 
in which, although the details may vary, we always 
find the same phenomenon, the gradual development 
of a criminaloid into a criminal. It will suffice to 
name a large class of criminals, in whom this phe- 
nomenon may often be observed — the brigands 
common to Spain and Italy. 

These outlaws, and particularly their leaders, 
notwithstanding the gravity of their offences, are 
seldom born criminals, nor do they (except in rare 


cases) begin their career at a very early age. They 
possess, moreover, good qualities' and are capable 
of affection, generosity, and chivalry, which explains 
why their memories are cherished by the common 
people long after good and law-abiding men have 
been forgotten. 

The brigand Mandrin, known as the "Smuggler 
General" is remembered with love and affection in 
Dauphine and other regions of France, Switzerland, 
and Savoy; and this feeling is easy to understand, 
since he was the enemy of the "fermiers generaux, " 
who, in the eighteenth century, leased from the 
French Government the right to levy excise duties, 
and sorely oppressed the people. 

Louis Mandrin, who in early life showed no signs 
of perversity nor possessed criminal traits, became a 
bandit, because he had been unjustly treated by 
these same "fermiers generaux" who refused him 
payment for work done. He became the chief of a 
small band of smugglers and spread terror among 
excise officers and gendarmes. He used to bring 
smuggled goods openly into the vicinity of villages 
and towns and invite the people to buy them, and 
the buying and selling went on without either 
gendarmes' or excise officers' daring to interfere. 
The Administration of the "fermiers generaux" 

^ As in the case of the Sicilian brigand Salomone (see Fig. 19) . 




promulgated a terrible edict against all purchasers 
of contraband goods ; whereupon Mandrin, who was 
not without a sense of humour, declared he would 
force the Administrafon itself to buy the merchan- 
dise, and from time to time he would oblige the 
excise officers to buy smuggled wares at a fair price. 
The brigand Gasparone (Fig. 20), whose memory 
is still held in great esteem by Sicilians, was an in- 
dividual of much the same disposition. 

Juridical Criminals 

This category comprises individuals who break 
the law, not because of any natural depravity, 
nor owing to distressing circumstances, but by 
mere accident. They may be divided into two 

First, the authors of accidental misdeeds, such as 
involuntary homicide or arson, who are not con- 
sidered criminal by public opinion or by anthro- 
pologists, but who are obliged by the law to make 
compensation for the damage caused. Naturally, 
this class of law-breaker is in no way distin- 
guishable, physically or psychically, from normal 
individuals, except that he is generally lacking in 
prudence, care, and forethought. 

Second, the authors of offences, which do not 
cause any damage socially, nor are they considered 


criminal by the general public, but have been deemed 
such by the law, in obedience to some dominat- 
ing opinion or prejudice. Bad language, seditious 
writings, atheism, drunkenness, evasion of customs, 
and any violation of petty by-laws come under this 
head. Instances of such offences are too well known 
to need citation. They may best be summed up in 
the words of an American judge, who pointed out 
how easy it would be to sentence the most honest 
citizen of the Republic to imprisonment for a hundred 
years and fines exceeding a thousand dollars for 
breaking a number of petty local regulations against 
spitting, drinking, disrobing near a window, swear- 
ing, opening places of amusement on Sunday, or 
employing persons on certain days or under certain 
conditions prohibited by the law, etc. 

Although persons who commit these acts are often 
in no wise distinguishable from ordinary individuals, 
both criminals and criminaloids are more often guilty 
of such offences than are normal persons, who in- 
stinctively avoid coming into conflict with the law. 

The difficulty of judging these misdeeds lies in the 
necessity for careful weighing of the motive which 
gives rise to them, whether, that is, they have been 
unwittingly committed by an honest individual, or 
whether they are but an item in the long list of 
offences perpetrated by a criminal. This differential 


diagnosis should be based principally on the ante- 
cedents of the offender. 

To this group belong also the authors of more 
serious infractions of the law that are not generally 
considered such at the time, or in the district in 
which they take place. Misdeeds of this nature are: 
thefts of fuel in rural districts, poaching, the petty 
dishonesty current in commerce and in certain pro- 
fessions, and in countries where secret societies like 
the camorra at Naples and the mafia in Sicily, exist, 
a connection with such organisations, which to a 
certain extent is necessary in self-defence. Such, too, 
are theft and homicide during revolutions, insur- 
rections, wars, and the conquest and exploitation 
of new territories and mines. 

Rochef ort and Whitman have pointed out that dur- 
ing the gold-fever in Australia and California there 
was an enormous increase in crime. Individuals 
of good antecedents engaged in deadly struggles for 
the possession of the most valuable territories, and 
unbridled orgies followed these bloody affrays. 

During the expedition of Europeans to China in 
1900, looting was carried on by soldiers of previously 
blameless career. 

Criminals of Passion 

This type of criminal, if indeed such he may be 


called, represents the antithesis of the common 
offender, whose evil acts are the outcome of his fero- 
cious and egotistical impulses, whereas criminals from 
passion are urged to violate the law by a pure spirit of 
altruism. In fact, they stand in no relation whatso- 
ever to ordinary delinquents, and it is only by a 
legislative compromise that they are classed together. 
They represent the ultra-violet ray of the criminal 
spectrum, of which the vulgar criminal represents 
the ultra-red. Not only are they free from the 
egotism, insensibility, laziness, and lack of moral 
sense peculiar to the ordinary criminal, but their 
abnormality consists in the excessive development 
of noble qualities, sensibility, altruism, integrity, 
affection, which if carried to an extreme, may 
result in actions forbidden by law, or worse still, 
dangerous to society. 

Physical Characteristics. These, too, are in com- 
plete contrast to those of the born criminal. The 
countenance is frequently handsome, with lofty 
forehead, serene and gentle expression, and the 
beard is abundant. The sensibility is extremely 
acute; there is a high degree of excitability and 
exaggerated reflex action, all characteristics of the 
normal (or rather hypernormal) individual, from 
whom nothing distinguishes the criminal of passion 
except the anti-social effects of his action. 


Psychology. Here, as in all physical character- 
istics, criminals of passion are scarcely distinguish- 
able from their fellow-men, except that we find in 
an excessive degree those qualities we consider pecu- 
liar to good and holy persons — ^love, honour, noble 
ambitions, patriotism. In fact, the motive of the 
crime is always adequate, frequently noble, and 
sometimes sublime. Love prompts certain natures to 
kill those who insult their beloved ones or are the 
cause of their dishonour and, in some cases, even 
the object of their affection who proves unfaithful. 
Crimes of this character are the murder by brothers 
of the man who dishonours their sister, the murder 
of an infant by its unmarried mother, the murder of 
an unfaithful wife by her husband. Sometimes the 
motive is a patriotic one, as in the cases of Charlotte 
Corday, Orsini Sand, and Caserio (Fig. 21) all of 
whom had been persons of gentle disposition and 
blameless conduct up to the moment of their 

This class of offender not infrequently commits 
suicide after his crime, or, if this is prevented, he 
seeks to expiate it by long years of remorse and 
self-inflicted martyrdom. 

The deed is almost always unpremeditated and 
committed publicly, without accomplices and with 
the simplest means at hand — be they nails, teeth, 


scissors, or a stick. The previous career is always 

Cumano, Verano, Guglielmotti, Harry, Curti, 
Milani, Brenner, Mari, Zucca, Bechis, Bouley, Tacco, 
Berruto and Sand, and Camicia, Vinci, and Leoni 
(these last three women), all attacked their victims 
single-handed and in public. 

In the case of Chalanton, the woman he had 
rescued by marriage from a low life, not content with 
betraying her benefactor, covered him in public with 
abuse and persecuted him with anonymous accusa- 
tions. His demand for a separation was unsuccessful 
and at last, finding himself, in spite of his integrity, 
involved in a scandalous action, in which his wife 
figured as a go-between, and tormented by public 
curiosity and the implacable questionings of re- 
porters, he murdered the cause of all his misfortunes. 
Another murderer, Del Prete, was prompted to kill 
his victim, an old woman with a reputation for 
witchcraft, because he believed she had caused the 
illness of his mother, to whom he was greatly 

The motive for the crime is generally a serious 
one and in most cases immediately precedes it. 
Bouley committed his crime only a few hours after 
receiving the news which prompted it; Bounin, 
Bechis, and Verano, only a few minutes; Milani, 

Fig. 21 

'f /."/ 

Brigand Caserio 
(see page 119) 


twenty -four hours, Zucca eight hours; Curti, a few 
days. Thus the crime is seldom premeditated, or 
if so, for only a short space of time, never for 
months or years. 

Homicide forms 91% of the criminality of this 
group of offenders. There is a certain proportion 
also of infanticide, owing to the prevailing prejudice 
which condemns immorality more harshly when the 
results are evident. Arson and theft form only 2%. 
Such cases are however possible. A young girl, 
whom my father had under observation in prison, 
seeing her family in dire poverty, committed arson 
in order to get the insurance money. 

In another case a woman of refinement, education, 
and of gentle disposition, who had fallen from pro- 
sperity into extreme want, stole in order to pay her 
son's school-fees. When arrested, she refused to 
give her name so that the lad should not be dis- 
honoured, and her identity might never have been 
discovered had she not been recognised by a law- 
yer in court. She died of a broken heart a few days 
after her trial. 





1 N order to determine the origin of actions which 
we call criminal, we shall be forced to hark 
back to a very remote period in the history of 
the human race. In all the epochs of which re- 
cords exist, we find traces of criminal actions. In 
fact, if we study minutely the customs of savage 
peoples, past and present, we find that many acts 
that are now considered criminal by civilised na- 
tions were legitimate in former times, and are to- 
day reputed such among primitive races. 

According to Pictet the Latin word crimen is 
derived from the Sanscrit karman, which signifies 
action corresponding to kri to do. This is contra- 
dicted by Vanicek who derives it from kru, to hear, 
croemen (accusation). At any rate, the Sanscrit 
word apaz, which means sin, corresponds to apas, 
work {opus) , the Latin f acinus derives from facere, 
and culpa according to Pictet and Pott, from the 

Sanscrit kalp, to do or execute. The Latin word fur 



(thief) which Vanicek derives from hahr, to carry, the 
Hebrew ganav and the Sanscrit sten only signify to 
put aside, to hide, to cover {gonav). The Greek 
word peirao {jtsipaGo) from which pirate is derived, 
signifies to risk; the Greek chleptein {x^inr&iv) to 
hide or steal, is derived from the Sanscrit harp-Map 
to hide and steal (Vanicek) . 

In India, from Ceylon to the Himalayas, in- 
fanticide is sanctified by religion, not only among the 
more barbarous races, but also among the Rajputs, 
the nobles, who think themselves dishonoured if one 
of their daughters remains unmarried. The inhab- 
itants of the Island of Tikopia, kill more male 
children than female, a fact that accounts for their 
practice of polygamy. 

Marco Polo speaks of the infanticide practised in 
Japan and China, which was then, as it is now, a 
means of regulating the population. The same 
practice — common to Bushmen, Hottentots, Fijians, 
also existed among the natives of Hawaii and 
America. In the Island of Tahiti, according to the 
testimony of missionaries, two thirds of the children 
born are destroyed by their parents. 

"Amongst the Guaranys," says D'Azara, "mothers 
kill a large proportion of their female infants, in 
order that the survivors may be more highly 
valued." {Travels in America, 1835.) 


The Carthaginians had originally the custom of 
offering the noblest and most beautiful children to 
Kronos (Moloch), but later victims were always 
bought and bred for the purpose. After their de- 
feat at the hand of Agathokles they sacrificed two 
hundred children belonging to the noblest Cartha- 
ginian families, in order to appease the Divine wrath. 

Phoenicians, Egyptians, Cretans, Cypriotes, Rho- 
dians, and Persians had similar practices. 

Among the Lydians, the sacred courtesans were 
so numerous and wealthy that their contributions 
to the Mausoleum of Alyattes exceeded those of the 
artists and merchants combined (Herodotus, Book I.) ; 
in Armenia (Strabo XII.) the priestesses alone were 
permitted to practise polyandry, and in Media, 
a woman boasting of five husbands was greatly 
honoured, which shows that polyandry was not only 
allowed, but esteemed. 

In Thibet, the eldest male of a family shares his 
wife with his brothers, the whole family live in the 
bride's house and the children inherit from her. 
Among the Todas, the wife espouses all her hus- 
band's younger brothers as they attain their major- 
ity, and they in their turn become the husbands of 
her younger sisters (Short) . 

Among the Nairs, a noble negro caste of Mala- 
bar, it is customary for one woman to have five or 


six husbands, the maximum number allowed being 

In Egypt, the business of thief was a recognised 
one. Those who wished to exercise this calling in- 
scribed their names on a public tablet, collected 
all the stolen goods in one spot and restored them 
to their owners in exchange for a certain coin. 
The ancient Germans encouraged the youthful por- 
tion of the population to make raids on the pro- 
perty of neighbouring peoples, so that they should not 
develop habits of idleness. Thucydides states that 
the Greeks, as well as the barbarous peoples inhab- 
iting the islands and along the coasts, were pirates, 
and the calling was a noble one. 

Amongst Spartans, as is well known, theft was 
allowed, but the unlucky marauder who was caught 
in the act, was punished, not for the deed itself, but 
for his want of skill. In East Africa, according 
to Burton {First Footsteps in East Africa, p. 176), 
robbery is considered honourable. In Caramanza 
(Portuguese Guinea) in Africa, side by side with the 
peaceful rice-cultivating Bagnous dwell the Balantes 
who subsist upon the chase and the spoils of their 
raids. While they kill the individual who presumes 
to steal in his native village, they encourage depreda- 
tions upon the other tribes {Revue d' Anthropologie, 
1874). The cleverest thieves are greatly esteemed, 


are paid for instructing boys in their profession, and 
are chosen to lead the expeditions. 

In India the tribe Zakka Khel is devoted to this 
dishonest caUing, and at birth every male child is 
consecrated to thievish practices by a peculiar cere- 
mony, in which the new-born infant is passed through 
a breach in the wall of his father's house, whilst the 
words "Become a thief" are chanted three times in 
chorus. Amongst the ancient Germans, according 
to Tacitus, thefts perpetrated outside the boundary 
of the tribe itself were by no means infamous. In the 
midst of a great assembly, the chief called upon those 
he wished to follow him; they showed their willing- 
ness by rising to their feet amid the applause of the 
crowd. Those who refused to take part were looked 
upon as deserters and traitors (Spencer, Principles of 
Ethics, 1895). Among the Comanches (Miilhausen, 
Diary of a Journey from the Mississippi to the Pacific) 
no man was considered worthy of being numbered 
among the warriors of the tribe, unless he had taken 
part in some successful pillaging expedition. The 
cleverest thieves were the most respected members of 
the tribe. No Patagonian is deemed worthy of a wife 
unless he has graduated in the art of despoiling a 
stranger (Snow, Two Years' Cruise round Tierra del 
Fuego). Among the Kukis (Dalton, Descriptive Eth- 
nolgy of Bengal) skill in stealing is the most esteemed 


talent. In Mongolia (Gilmour, ^mo?zg the Mongols), 
thieves are regarded as respectable members of the 
community, provided they steal cleverly and escape 

Criminality in Children 

The criminal instincts common to primitive sav- 
ages would be found proportionally in nearly all 
children, if they were not influenced by moral train- 
ing and example. This does not mean that without 
educative restraints, all children would develop into 
criminals. According to the observations made by 
Prof. Mario Carrara at Cagliari, the bands of 
neglected children who run wild in the streets of 
the Sardinian capital and are addicted to thievish 
practices and more serious vices, spontaneously 
correct themselves of these habits as soon as they 
have arrived at puberty. 

This fact, that the germs of moral insanity and 
criminality are found normally in mankind in the 
first stages of his existence, in the same way as forms 
considered monstrous when exhibited by adults, fre- 
quently exist in the foetus, is such a simple and 
common phenomenon that it eluded notice until it 
was demonstrated clearly by observers like Moreau, 
Perez, and Bain. The child, like certain adults, 
whose abnormality consists in a lack of moral 


sense, represents what is known to alienists as a 
morally insane being and to criminologists as a born 
criminal, and it certainly resembles these types in its 
impetuous violence. 

Perez {Psychologie de r enfant, 2d ed., 1882) re- 
marks on the frequency and precocity of anger in 

"During the first two months, it manifests by movements 
of the eyebrows and hands undoubted fits of temper when 
undergoing any distasteful process, such as washing or when 
deprived of any object it takes a fancy to. At the age of 
one, it goes to the length of striking those who incur its dis- 
pleasure, of breaking plates or throwing them at persons it 
dislikes, exactly like savages." 

Moreau (De V Homicide chez les enfants, 1882) cites 
numerous cases of children who fly into a passion 
if their wishes are not complied with immediately. 
In one instance observed by him a very intelligent 
child of eight, when reproved, even in the mildest 
manner by his parents or strangers, would give way 
to violent anger, snatching up the nearest weapon, 
or if he found himself unable to take revenge, would 
break anything he could lay his hands on. 

A baby girl showed an extremely violent temper, 
but became of gentle disposition after she had reached 
the age of two (Perez). Another, observed by the 


same author, when only eleven months old, flew into 
a towering rage, because she was unable to pull off 
her grandfather's nose. Yet another, at the age of 
two, tried to bite another child who had a doll like 
her own, and she was so much affected by her anger 
that she was ill for three days afterwards. 

Nino Bixio, when a boy of seven ( Vita, Guerzoni, 
1880) on seeing his teacher laugh because he had 
written his exercise on office letter-paper, threw the 
inkstand at the man's face. This boy was literally 
the terror of the school, on account of the violence 
he displayed at the slightest offence. 

Infants of seven or eight months have been known 
to scratch at any attempt to withdraw the breast from 
them, and to retaliate when slapped. 

A backward and slightly hydrocephalous boy 
whom my father had under observation, began at the 
age of six to show violent irritation at the slightest 
reproof or correction. If he was able to strike the 
person who had annoyed him, his rage cooled im- 
mediately; if not, he would scream incessantly and 
bite his hands with gestures similar to those often 
witnessed in caged bears who have been teased and 
cannot retaliate. 

The above cases show that the desire for revenge 
is extremely common and precocious in children. 
Anger is an elementary instinct innate in human 


beings. It should be guided and restrained, but can 
never be extirpated. 

Children are quite devoid of moral sense during 
the first months or first years of their existence. 
Good and evil in their estimation are what is allowed 
and what is forbidden by their elders, but they are 
incapable of judging independently of the moral 
value of an action. 

"Lying and disobedience are very wrong," said a 
boy to Perez, "because they displease mother." 
Everything he was accustomed to was right and 

A child does not grasp abstract ideas of justice, 
or the rights of property, until he has been deprived 
of some possession. He is prone to detest injustice, 
especially when he is the victim. Injustice, in his 
estimation, is the discord between a habitual mode of 
treatment and an accidental one. When subjected 
to altered conditions, he shows complete uncertainty. 
A child placed under Perez's care modified his ways 
according to each new arrival. He began ordering 
his companions about and refused to obey any one 
but Perez. 

Affection is very slightly developed in children. 
Their fancy is easily caught by a pleasing exterior or 
by anything that contributes to their amusement; 
like domestic animals that they enjoy teasing and 


pulling about, and they exhibit great antipathy to 
unfamiliar objects that inspire them with fear. Up 
to the age of seven or even after, they show very 
little real attachment to anybody. Even their 
mothers, whom they appear to love, are speedily 
forgotten after a short separation. 

In conclusion, children manifest a great many of 
the impulses we have observed in criminals; anger, 
a spirit of revenge, idleness, volubility and lack of 

We have also pointed out that many actions 
considered criminal in civilised communities, are 
normal and legitimate practices among primitive 
races. It is evident, therefore, that such actions are 
natural to the early stages, both of social evolution 
and individual psychic development. 

In view of these facts, it is not strange that civil- 
ised communities should produce a certain percent- 
age of adults who commit actions reputed injurious 
to society and punishable by law. It is only an 
atavistic phenomenon, the return to a former state. 
In the criminal, moreover, the phenomenon is accom- 
panied by others also natural to a primitive stage of 
evolution. These have already been referred to in 
the first chapter, which contains a description of 
many strange practices common to delinquents, and 
evidently of primitive origin— tattooing, cruel games, 

Fig. 22 

Terra-cotta Bowls 
Designed by a Criminal 
(see page 135) 


love of orgies, a pecuilar slang resembling in certain 
features the languages of primitive peoples, and the 
use of hieroglyphics and pictography. 

The artistic manifestations of the criminal show 
the same characteristics. In spite of the thousands 
of years which separate him from prehistoric sav- 
ages, his art is a faithful reproduction of the first, 
crude artistic attempts of primitive races. The 
museum of criminal anthropology created by my 
father contains numerous specimens of criminal art, 
stones shaped to resemble human figures, like those 
found in Australia, rude pottery covered with designs 
that recall Egyptian decorations (Fig. 22) or scenes 
fashioned in terra-cotta (Fig. 23) that resemble the 
grotesque creations of children or savages. 

The criminal is an atavistic being, a relic of a 
vanished race. This is by no means an uncommon 
occurrence in nature. Atavism, the reversion to a 
former state, is the first feeble indication of the reac- 
tion opposed by nature to the perturbing causes which 
seek to alter her delicate mechanism. Under certain 
unfavourable conditions,. cold or poor soil, the com- 
mon oak will develop characteristics of the oak of 
the Quaternary period. The dog left to run wild in 
the forest will in a few generations revert to the type 
of his original wolf -like progenitor, and the cultivated 
garden roses when neglected show a tendency to 


reassume the form of the original dog-rose. Under 
special conditions produced by alcohol, chloroform, 
heat, or injuries, ants, dogs, and pigeons become 
irritable and savage like their wild ancestors. 

This tendency to alter under special conditions is 
common to human beings, in whom hunger, syphi- 
lis, trauma, and, still more frequently, morbid con- 
ditions inherited from insane, criminal, or diseased 
progenitors, or the abuse of nerve poisons, such as 
alcohol, tobacco, or morphine, cause various altera- 
tions, of which criminality — ^that is, a return to the 
characteristics peculiar to primitive savages — is in 
reality the least serious, because it represents a 
less advanced stage than other forms of cerebral 

The aetiology of crime, therefore, mingles with 
that of all kinds of degeneration: rickets, deafness, 
monstrosity, hairiness, and cretinism, of which crime 
is only a variation. It has, however, always been 
regarded as a thing apart, owing to a general in- 
stinctive repugnance to admit that a phenomenon, 
whose extrinsications are so extensive and penetrate 
every fibre of social life, derives, in fact, from the 
same causes as socially insignificant forms like 
rickets, sterility, etc. But this repugnance is really 
only a sensory illusion, like many others of widely 
diverse nature. 

Fig. 23 


Art Production from Prison 
(see page 135) 

Fig. 24 

A Combat between Brigands and Gendarmes 

Designed by a Criminal 

(see page 135) 


Pathological Origin of Crime. The atavistic ori- 
gin of crime is certainly one of the most important 
discoveries of criminal anthropology, but it is im- 
portant only theoretically, since it merely explains 
the phenomenon. Anthropologists soon realised how 
necessary it was to supplement this discovery by 
that of the origin, or causes which call forth in certain 
individuals these atavistic or criminal instincts, for it 
is the immediate causes that constitute the practical 
nucleus of the problem and it is their removal that 
renders possible the cure of the disease 

These causes are divided into organic and external 
factors of crime: the former remote and deeply 
rooted, the latter momentary but frequently deter- 
mining the criminal act, and both closely related 
and fused together. 

Heredity is the principal organic cause of criminal 
tendencies. It may be divided into two classes: 
indirect heredity from a generically degenerate family 
with frequent cases of insanity, deafness, syphilis, 
epilepsy, and alcoholism among its members; direct 
heredity from criminal parentage. 

Indirect Heredity. Almost all forms of chronic, 
constitutional diseases, especially those of a nervous 
character: chorea, sciatica, hysteria, insanity, and 
above all, epilepsy, may give rise to criminality in 
the descendants. 


Of 559 soldiers convicted of offences, examined 
by Brancaleone Ribaudo, lo % had epileptic parents. 
According to Dejerine, this figure reaches 74.6% 
among criminal epileptics. Arthritis and gout have 
been known to generate criminality in the descend- 
ants. But the most serious, and at the same time 
most common, form of indirect heredity is alcoholism, 
which, contrary to general belief, wreaks destruction 
in all classes of society, amongst the rich and poor 
without distinction of sex, for alcohol may insinu- 
ate itself everywhere under the most refined and 
pleasant disguises, in liqueurs, sweets, and coffee. 

According to calculations made by my father, 
20% of Italian criminals descend from inebriate 
families; according to Penta the percentage is 27 
and in dangerous criminals, 33%. The Jukes 
family, of whom we shall speak later, descended 
from a drunkard. 

The first salient characteristic in hereditary 
alcoholism is the precocious taste for intoxicants; 
secondly, the susceptibility to alcohol, which is in- 
finitely more injurious to the offspring of inebriates 
than to normal individuals; and thirdly, the growth 
of the craving for strong drinks, which inevitably 
undermine the constitution. 

Direct Heredity. The effects of direct heredity 
are still more serious, for they are aggravated by 


environment and education. Official statistics show 
that 20% of juvenile offenders belong to families of 
doubtful reputation and 26% to those whose reputa- 
tion is thoroughly bad. The criminal Galletto, a 
native of Marseilles, was the nephew of the equally 
ferocious anthropophagous violator of women, Or- 
solano. Dumollar was the son of a murderer; 
Patetot's grandfather and great-grandfather were 
in prison, as were the grandfathers and fathers of 
Papa, Crocco, Serravalle and Cavallante, Comptois 
and Lempave; the parents of the celebrated female 
thief Sans Refus, were both thieves. 

The genealogical study of certain families has 
shown that there are whole generations, almost all 
the members of which belong to the ranks of crime, 
insanity, and prostitution (this last being amongst 
women the equivalent of criminality amongst men). 
A striking example is furnished by the notorious 
Jukes family, with 'j'j criminal descendants. 

Ancestor, Max Jukes: jj criminals; 142 vagabonds; 
120 prostitutes; 18 keepers of houses of ill-fame; 91 
illegitimates; 141 idiots or afflicted with impotency 
or syphilis; 46 sterile females. 

A like criminal contingent may be found in the 
pedigrees of Chretien, the Lemaires, the Fieschi 
family, etc. 

Race. This is of great importance in view of the 


atavistic origin of crime. There exist whole tribes 
and races more or less given to crime, such as the 
tribe Zakka Khel in India. In all regions of Italy, 
whole villages constitute hot-beds of crime, owing, 
no doubt, to ethnical causes: Artena in the province 
of Rome, Carde and San Giorgio Canavese in Pied- 
mont, Pergola in Tuscany, San Severo in ApuHa, San 
Mauro and Nicosia in Sicily. The frequency of 
homicide in Calabria, Sicily, and Sardinia is funda- 
mentally due to African and Oriental elements. 

In the gipsies we have an entire race of criminals 
with all the passions and vices common to delinquent 
types: idleness, ignorance, impetuous fury, vanity, 
love of orgies, and ferocity. Murder is often com- 
mitted for some trifling gain. The women are skilled 
thieves and train their children in dishonest practices. 
On the contrary, the percentage of crimes among 
Jews is always lower than that of the surrounding 
population ; although there is a prevalence of certain 
specific forms of offences, often hereditary, such as 
fraud, forgery, libel, and chief of all, traffic in prosti- 
tution; murder is extremely rare. 

Illnesses, Intoxications, Traumatism 

These causes, although apparently as important 
as heredity, are in fact, decidedly less so. Both 
disease and trauma may intensify or call forth latent 


perversity, but they are less frequently the cause of it. 
There are, however, certain cases in which traumatism 
meningitis, typhus, or other diseases that affect the 
brain have undoubtedly evoked criminal tendencies 
in individuals hitherto normal. Twenty out of 290 
criminals studied by my father with minute care had 
suffered from injury to the head in childhood; and 
recently a case came under his notice in which a 
youth of good family and excellent character received 
an injury to his head at the age of fourteen and 
became epileptic, developing subsequently into a 
gambler, thief, and murderer. Such cases, however, 
are not very common. 

There is one disease that without other causes — • 
either inherited degeneracy or vices resulting from a 
bad education and environment — ^is capable of trans- 
forming a healthy individual into a vicious, hope- 
lessly evil being. That disease is alcoholism, which 
has been discussed in a previous chapter, but to 
which I must refer briefly again, because it is such an 
important factor of criminality. 

Temporary drunkenness alone will give rise to 
crime, since it inflames the passions, obscures the 
mental and moral faculties, and destroys all sense 
of decency, causing men to commit offences in a 
state of automatism or a species of somnambulism. 
Sometimes drunkenness produces kleptomania. A 


slight excess in drinking will cause men of absolute 
honesty to appropriate any objects they can lay 
their hands upon. When the effects of drink have 
worn off, they feel shame and remorse and hasten to 
restore the stolen goods. Alcohol, however, more 
often causes violence. An officer known to my 
father, when drunk, twice attempted to run his 
sword through his friends and his own attendant. 

Among Oriental sects of murderers, as is well 
known, homicidal fury was excited and maintained 
by a drink brewed for the purpose from hemp-seed. 

Biichner shows that dishonest instincts can be 
developed in bees by a special food consisting of 
honey mixed with brandy. The insects acquire a 
taste for this drink in the same way as human 
beings do, and under its influence cease to work. 
Ants show similar symptoms after narcosis by 
means of chloroform. Their bodies remain motion- 
less, with the exception of their heads, with which 
they snap at all who approach them. 

The above cited cases show that there exists a 
species of alcoholic psychic epilepsy, similar to con- 
genital epilepsy, in which after alcoholic poisoning, 
the individual is incited to raise his hand against 
himself or others without any due cause. But 
besides the crimes of violence committed during a 
drunken fit, the prolonged abuse of alcohol, opium, 


morphia, coca, and other nervines may give rise to 
chronic perturbation of the mind, and without other 
causes, congenital or educative, will transform an 
honest, well-bred, and industrious man into an idle, 
violent, and apathetic fellow, — into an ignoble being, 
capable of any depraved action, even when he is not 
directly under the influence of the drug. 

When we were children, a frequent visitor at our 
house was a certain Belm . . . (see Fig. 16, Chap. 
III., a very intelligent man and an accomplished 
linguist. He was a military officer, but later took 
to journalism, and his writings were distinguished 
by vivacious style and elevation of thought. He 
married and had several children, but at the age of 
thirty some trouble caused him to take to drink. 
His character soon underwent a complete change. 
Although formerly a proud man, he was not 
ashamed to pester all his friends for money and 
to let his family sink into the direst poverty. 

Social Causes of Crime 

Education. We now come to the second series 
of criminal factors, those which depend, not on the 
organism, but on external conditions. We have 
already stated that the best and most careful educa- 
tion, moral and intellectual, is powerless to effect an 
improvement in the morally insane, but that in other 


cases, education, environment, and example are ex- 
tremely important, for which reason neglected and 
destitute children are easily initiated into evil 

At Naples, "Esposito" (foundling) is a common 
name amongst prisoners, as is at Bologna and in 
Lombardy the name "Colombo," which signifies the 
same thing. In Prussia, illegitimate males form 6 % 
of offenders, illegitimate females 1.8 %; in Austria, 
10 and 2 % respectively. The percentage is con- 
siderably larger amongst juvenile criminals, prosti- 
tutes, and recidivists. In France, in 1864, 65 % of 
the minors arrested were bastards or orphans, and 
at Hamburg 30 % of the prostitutes are illegitimate. 
In Italy, 30 % of recidivists are natural children 
and foundlings. 

This depends largely on hereditary influences, 
which are generally bad, but still more on the 
difficulty of finding a means of subsistence, owing to 
the state of neglect in which these wretched beings 
exist, even when herded together in charity schools 
and orphanages — ^both of which are even more anti- 
hygienic morally, than they are physically. 

A depraved environment, which counsels or even 
insists on wrong-doing, and the bad example of 
parents or relatives, exercise a still more sinister 
infiuence on children than desertion. The criminal 


family Cornu, finding one of their children, a little 
girl, strongly averse to their evil ways, forced her 
to carry the head of one of their victims in her pina- 
fore for a couple of miles, after which she became 
one of the most ferocious of the band. 

Meteoric Causes are frequently the determining 
factor of the ultimate impulsive act, which converts 
the latent criminal into an effective one. Excessively 
high temperature and rapid barometric changes, 
while predisposing epileptics to convulsive seizures 
and the insane to uneasiness, restlessness, and noisy 
outbreaks, encourage quarrels, brawls, and stabbing 
affrays. To the same reason may be ascribed the 
prevalence during the hot months, of rape, homicide, 
insurrections, and revolts. In comparing statistics 
of criminality in France with those of the variations 
in temperature, Ferri noted an increase in crimes of 
violence during the warmer years. An examination 
of European and American statistics shows that the 
number of homicides decreases as we pass from hot 
to cooler climates. Holzendorf calculates that the 
number of murders committed in the Southern States 
of North America is fifteen times greater than those 
committed in the Northern States. A low tempera- 
ture, on the contrary, has the effect of increasing 
the number of crimes against property, due to 
increased need, and both in Italy and America 


the proportion of thefts increases the farther north 
we go. 

Density of Population. The agglomeration of per- 
sons in a large town is a certain incentive to crimes 
against property. Robbery, frauds, and criminal 
associations increase, while there is a decrease in 
crimes against the person, due to the restraints 
imposed by mutual supervision. 

"He who has studied mankind, or, better still, himself 
[writes my father], must have remarked how often an indi- 
vidual, who is respectable and self -controlled in the bosom of 
his family, becomes indecent and even immoral when he finds 
himself in the company of a number of his fellows, to what- 
ever class they may belong. The primitive instincts of theft, 
homicide, and lust, the germs of which lie dormant in each 
individual as long as he is alone, particularly if kept in check 
by sound moral training, awaken and develop suddenly into 
gigantic proportions when he comes into contact with others, 
the increase being greater in those who already possess such 
criminal tendencies in a marked degree." 

In all large cities, low lodging-houses form the 
favourite haimts of crime. 

Imitation. The detailed accounts of crimes cir- 
culated in large towns by newspapers, have an ex- 
tremely pernicious influence, because example is a 
powerful agent for evil as well as for good. 

At Marseilles in 1868 and 1872, the newspaper 
reports of a case of child desertion provoked a 


perfect epidemic of such cases, amounting in one 
instance to eight in one day. 

Before Corridori murdered the Head-master of his 
boarding-school, he is said to have declared: "There 
will be a repetition of what happened to the Head- 
master at Catanzaro" (who had been murdered in 
the same way). 

The anarchist Lucchesi killed Banti at Leghorn 
shortly after the murder of Carnot by Caserio, and 
in a similar manner. Certain forms of crime which 
become common at given periods, the throwing of 
bombs, the cutting up of the bodies of murdered 
persons, particularly those of women, and frauds 
of a peculiar type may certainly be attributed 
to imitation, as may also the violence committed 
by mobs, in whom cruelty takes the form of 
an epidemic affecting even individuals of mild 

Immigration, The agglomeration of population 
produced by immigration is a strong incentive 
to crime, especially that of an associated nature, 
— due to increased want, lessened supervision 
and the consequent ease with which offenders 
avoid detection. In New York the largest con- 
tingent of criminality is furnished by the immigrant 

The fact of agglomeration explains the greater 


frequency of homicide in France in thickly popu- 
lated districts. 

The criminality of immigrant populations increases 
in direct ratio to its instability. This applies to the 
migratory population in the interior of a country, 
specially that which has no fixed destination, as 
peddlers, etc. Even those immigrants whom we 
should naturally assume to be of good disposition — 
religious pilgrims — commit a remarkable number 
of associated crimes. The Italian word mariuolo 
which signifies ''rogue" owes its origin to the behav- 
iour of certain pilgrims to the shrines of Loreto and 
Assisi, who, while crying Viva Maria! ("Hail to the 
Virgin Mary ! ") committed the most atrocious crimes, 
confident that the pilgrimage itself would serve as a 
means of expiation. In his Reminiscences Massimo 
d' Azeglio notes that places boasting of celebrated 
shrines always enjoy a bad reputation. 

Prison Life. The density of population in the 
most criminal of cities has not such a bad influence 
as has detention in prisons, which may well be 
called "Criminal Universities." 

Nearly all the leaders of malefactors: Maino, 
Lombardo, La Gala, Lacenaire, Souifiard, and Har- 
douin were escaped convicts, who chose their accom- 
plices among those of their fellow-prisoners who had 
shown audacity and ferocity. In fact, in prison, crimi- 


nals have an opportunity of becoming acquainted 
with each other, of instructing those less skilled in 
infamy, and of banding together for evil purposes. 
Even the expensive cellular system, from which so 
many advantages were expected, has not attained its 
object and does not prevent communication between 
prisoners. Moreover, in prison, mere children of 
seven or eight, imprisoned for stealing a bunch of 
grapes or a fowl, come into close contact with adults 
and become initiated into evil practices, of which 
these poor little victims of stupid laws were pre- 
viously quite ignorant. 

Education. Contrary to general belief, the in- 
fluence of education on crime is very slight. 

The number of illiterates arrested in Europe is less, 
proportionally, than that of educated individuals. 
Nevertheless, although a certain degree of instruction 
is often an aid to crime, its extension acts as a 
corrective, or at least tends to mitigate the nature 
of crimes committed, rendering them less ferocious, 
and to decrease crimes of violence, while increasing 
fraudulent and sexual offences. 

Professions. The trades and professions which 
encourage inebriety in those who follow them (cooks, 
confectioners, and inn-keepers) , those which bring the 
poor (servants of all kinds, especially footmen, coach- 
men, and chauffeurs) into contact with wealth, or 


which provide means for committing crimes (brick- 
layers, blacksmiths, etc.) furnish a remarkable share 
of criminality. Still more so is this the case with the 
professions of notary, usher of the courts, attorneys, 
and military men. 

It should be observed, however, that the char- 
acteristic idleness of criminals makes them disin- 
clined to adopt any profession, and when they 
do, their extreme fickleness prompts them to 
change continually. 

Economic Conditions. Poverty is often a direct in- 
centive to theft, when the miserable victims of eco- 
nomic conditions find themselves and their families 
face to face with starvation, and it acts further indi- 
rectly through certain diseases: pellagra, alcoholism, 
scrofula, and scurvy, which are the outcome of misery 
and produce criminal degeneration ; its influence has 
nevertheless often been exaggerated. If thieves are 
generally penniless, it is because of their extreme 
idleness and astonishing extravagance, which makes 
them run through huge sums with the greatest ease, 
not because poverty has driven them to theft. On 
the other hand the possession of wealth is frequently 
an incentive to crime, because it creates an ever- 
increasing appetite for riches, besides furnishing those 
occupying high public offices or important positions 
in the banking and commercial world with numerous 


opportunities for dishonesty and persuading them 
that money will cover any evij. deed. 

Sex. Statistics of every country show that 
women contribute a very small share of criminality 
compared with that furnished by the opposite sex. 
This share becomes still smaller when we eliminate 
infanticide, in view of the fact that the guilty 
parties in nearly all such cases should be classed as 
criminals from passion. In Austria, crimes com- 
mitted by females barely constitute 1 5 % of the total 
criminality; in Spain 11 %; and in Italy 8.2 %. 

However, this applies only to serious crimes. 
For those of lesser gravity, statistics are at variance 
with the results obtained by the Modern School, 
which classes prostitutes as criminals. According to 
this mode of calculation, the difference between the 
criminality of the two sexes shows a considerable 
diminution, resulting perhaps in a slight prevalence 
of crime in women. In any case, female criminality 
tends to increase proportionally with the increase of 
civilisation and to equal that of men. 

Age. The greater number of crimes are com- 
mitted between the ages of 15 and 30, whereas, out- 
breaks of insanity between these ages are extremely 
rare, the maximum number occurring between 40 and 
50. On the whole, criminality is far more precocious 
than mental alienation, and its precocity, which is 


greater among thieves than among murderers, 
swindlers, and those guilty of violence and assault 
is another proof of the congenital nature of crime 
and its atavistic origin, since precocity is a charac- 
teristic of savage races. 

Seldom do we find among born criminals any in- 
dication of that so-called criminal scale, leading by 
degrees from petty offences to crimes of the most 
serious nature. As a general rule, they commence 
their career with just those crimes which distinguish 
it throughout, even when these are of the gravest 
kind, like robbery and murder. Rather may it be 
said that every age has its specific criminality, and 
this is the case especially with criminaloids. On the 
borderland between childhood and adolescence, there 
seems to be a kind of instinctive tendency to law- 
breaking, which by immature minds is often held 
to be a sign of virility. The Italian novelist and 
poet Manzoni describes this idea very well in his 
Promessi Sposi, when speaking of the half-witted 
lad Gervaso, who "because he had taken part in a 
plot savouring of crime, felt that he had suddenly 
become a man." 

This idea lurks in the slang word omerta used 
by Italian criminals, which signifies not only to be a 
man but a man daring enough to break the law. 



'X'HE curability of crime is an entirely novel idea, 
due to the Modern Penal School. As long as, 
in the eyes of the world, the criminal was a normal 
individual, who voluntarily and consciously violated 
the laws, there could be no thought of a cure, but 
rather of a punishment sufficiently severe to pre- 
vent his recidivation and to inspire others with a 
salutary fear of offending the law. 

The penalties excogitated in past centuries were 
varied : flogging, hard labour, imprisonment, and exile. 
During the last century they have been crystallised 
in the form of imprisonment, as being the most 
humane, although in reality it is the most illogical 
form, since it serves neither to intimidate the of- 
fender nor to reform him. In fact, although prison 
with its forced separation from home and family 
is a terrible penalty for those honest persons, who 

sometimes suffer with the guilty, it is a haven of 



rest for ordinary criminals, or at the worst, in no 
wise inferior to their usual haunts. There is a certain 
amount of privation of air, light, and food, but these 
disadvantages are fully coimterbalanced by the en- 
joyment of complete leisure and the company of 
men of their own stamp. 

If imprisonment does not serve to intimidate 
instinctive criminals, still less is it a means of 
rehabilitation. In virtue of what law, should any 
man, even if he be normal, become reformed after a 
varying period of detention in a gloomy cell, where 
he is isolated from the better elements of society 
and deprived of every elevating influence — art, 
science, and high ideals; where he loses regular, 
habits of work, the disciplining struggle with circum- 
stances, and the sense of responsibility natural to 
free citizens and is tainted by constant contact 
with the worst types of humanity? 

The autobiographies of criminals show us that far 
from reforming evil-doers, prison is in reality a crimi- 
nal university which houses all grades of offenders 
during varying periods ; that far from being a means 
of redemption, it is a hot-bed of depravity, where 
are prepared and developed the germs which are later 
to infect society, yet it is to this incubator of crime 
that society looks for defence against those very 
elements of lawlessness which it is actively fostering. 


In his book Prison Palimpsests my father has 
made a collection of all the inscriptions, drawings, 
and allegories scratched or written by criminals 
while in prison, on walls, utensils, and books. Of 
lamentations, despair, and repentance, scarcely a 
trace, but innumerable imprecations, plans of re- 
venge against enemies without, project of future 
burglaries and murders, and advice for the sound 
instruction of criminals. 

Although the Modern School has demonstrated 
the uselessness, nay the injuriousness of prison, it has 
no desire to leave society suddenly unprotected and 
the criminal at large. Nature does not proceed by 
leaps, and the Modern School aims at effecting a 
revolution, not a revolt, in Penal Jurisprudence. It 
proposes, therefore, the gradual transformation of 
the present system, which is to be rendered as little 
injurious and as beneficial as possible. Such has 
been the course pursued by the modern science of 
medicine, which from the original absurd remedies 
and equally absurd empirical operations, has now 
succeeded in placing the cure of diseases on the 
more solid basis of experience. 

The Modern School aims at preventing the forma- 
tion of criminals, not punishing them, or, failing 
prevention, at effecting their cure; and, failing cure, 
at segregating such hopeless cases for life in suitable 


institutes, which shall protect society better than 
the present system of imprisonment, but be entirely 
free from the infamy attaching to the prison. The 
Modern School proposes the cure of criminals by 
preventive and legislative measures. 

Preventive Institutions for Destitute 

The cure of crime, as of any other disease, has the 
greater chance of success, the earlier it is taken in 
hand. Attention, therefore, should be specially 
concentrated on the childhood of those likely to 
become criminals: orphans and destitute children, 
who as adults contribute the largest contingent of 
criminality. A community seriously resolved to 
protect itself from evil should, above all, provide a 
sound education for those unfortunate waifs who 
have been deprived of their natural protectors by 
death or vice. The greatest care must be exer- 
cised in placing them, whenever it is possible, in 
respectable private families where they will have 
careful supervision, or in suitable institutes where 
no pains are spared to give them a good education 
and, more important still, sound moral training. 

In order to attain this end, the State cannot do 
better than follow in the footsteps of philanthropists 
of rare talent like Don Bosco, Dr. Barnardo, General 


Booth, Brockway, and many others, who have been so 
successftil in rescuing destitute children. 

Don Bosco, the Black Pope, as he was familiarly 
styled at Turin, where he lived during the latter half 
of the last century, was a Roman Catholic priest who 
founded numerous institutes for orphans in all parts 
of Italy and many parts of both Americas, especially 
South America. The psychological basis on which 
he founded the training of children in these schools, 
was mainly derived from experience, and proved so 
successful in practice that it is worthy of quotation : 

"Most neglected and abandoned children [he said], are of 
ordinary character and disposition, but incHned to change- 
ableness and indifference. Brief, but frequent exhortations, 
good advice, small rewards, and encouragements to persevere 
are very efficacious, but above all the teacher must show 
perfect trust in his charges, while being careful never to relax 
his vigilance. The greatest solicitude should, however, be 
reserved for the unruly characters, who generally form about 
one fifth of the whole number. The teacher should make a 
special effort to become thoroughly acquainted with their 
dispositions and past life and to convince them that he is 
their friend. They should be encouraged to chatter freely, 
while the conversation of the master should be brief and 
abound in examples, maxims, and anecdotes. Above all, 
while showing perfect confidence in his pupils, he should 
never lose sight of them. 

" Occasional treats of a wholesome and attractive nature, 
picnics and walks, will keep the boys happy and contented. 
Lasciviousness is the only vice that need be feared; any lad 
persisting in immoral practices should be expelled. 


"Harsh punishments should never be resorted to. The 
repressive system may check unruliness, but can never in- 
fluence for good. It involves little trouble on the part of 
those who make use of it and may be efficacious in the army, 
which is composed of responsible adults, but it has a harmful 
effect on the young, who err more from thoughtlessness than 
from evil disposition. Far more suitable in their case is the 
preventive system, which consists in making them thoroughly 
acquainted with the regulations they have to obey and in 
watching over them. In this way they are always conscious 
of the vigilance of the Head-master or his assistants, who are 
ready to guide and advise them in every difficulty and to 
anticipate their wants. The pupils should never be left 
to their own devices, yet they should have complete freedom 
to run, jump, and enjoy themselves in their own noisy fashion. 
Gymnastics, vocal and instrumental music, and plenty of 
outdoor exercise are the most efficacious means of main- 
taining discipline and improving the boys, bodily and 

Only children over seven were admitted to the 
Institutes founded by Don Bosco. Dr. Barnardo, 
on the other hand, who rescued thousands of orphans 
and destitute children in London and was able to 
witness a decided decrease in the criminality of that 
capital, concentrated his beneficent efforts on desti- 
tute children from their earliest years, with the idea 
of removing them as soon as possible from the bad 
environment in which they were born. He was, 
moreover, desirous that they should share with more 
fortunate children the boon of happy childhood, and 
resolved that up to the age of seven they should be 


brought up without educational or other restraints, 
save the affection of those appointed to watch over 
them during the first years, so that they might imbibe 
sufficient love and joy for the rest of their lives. 
Such is the rule followed in the buildings set apart 
for the infants. Bird Castle, Tiny House, and 
Jersey House, which are perfect nests of happy 

In spite of the seeming impossibility of obtaining 
individual education in a school, thanks to a system 
devised by Dr. Barnardo, the older children actually 
enjoy this advantage. New-comers are placed in a 
special department until facts relative to their past 
life are ascertained and an idea formed of their 
individuality. The results of these preliminary in- 
quiries determine in which school the boy shall be 
placed and what trade he shall follow. Moreover, 
any boy desiring to change his occupation is encour- 
aged to do so. Every year a re-distribution is made 
according to the aptitudes shown by the lads in 
study and manual work and their physical and in- 
tellectual development, special care being taken that 
the younger children should not be put with those 
who have arrived at a more advanced stage of physi- 
cal and mental evolution. Free development of the 
various individual aptitudes is thus secured, while 
avoiding that common defect of schools, the turning 


out of numerous lads all made after one regulation 

Having come to the conclusion that life in an 
institute, in spite of all these precautions, is unsuited 
to girls. Dr. Barnardo founded a village at a short 
distance from London with cottage homes for children 
of both sexes. Each cottage contains from fifteen 
to twenty children and forms a family, the domestic 
duties of the homes being discharged by the girls. 

Dr. Barnardo realised, however, that the placing 
of children in private families is the best means of 
effecting their salvation, and he made great efforts in 
private and public to induce benevolent persons to 
adopt his proteges. Finally, he organised a regular 
emigration of lads to Canada, where a special agent 
provides them with situations on farms or in factories. 

America certainly does not lag behind Europe in 
the number and excellence of its organisations for 
rescuing the little derelicts of its cities. In every 
town of the United States visited by me, I had the 
pleasure of inspecting such institutions, all of which 
are kept with extraordinary care, and in some cases, 
with elegance. Amongst others, I may mention the 
Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society in New York 
City and the George Junior Republic at Freeville, 
near Ithaca, both of which seemed to me the most 
original of their kind. 


The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is an 
orphanage for the Jews, managed with rare insight 
and inteUigence by Mr. Lewisohn. The Institute 
being founded for orphans only, there is no limit 
as to age or condition. Infants and young people, 
diseased and healthy, intelligent and mentally de- 
ficient, normal and abnormal, good and bad, are 
all welcome. In order to prevent the overcrowding 
of the institution and to provide homes for as many 
children as possible, a committee has been organised 
for the purpose of finding homes in private families 
for all children under six years of age and for those 
who are sickly and delicate. A certain proportion are 
adopted, and others are boarded out, but the sum 
paid for their keep is always less than it would cost 
to place them in a school; and there is, moreover, 
always a chance of their being adopted later. At the 
age of six, all healthy and robust children enter the 
Institute, which becomes their home, providing 
them with board, lodging, clothing, moral and 
religious instruction, and training in some kind of 
work, but in order that they shall mix with other 
children, they are educated at the public schools, 
and the consequent saving in money and space en- 
ables the Institute to receive a larger number of 
children than it otherwise could. 

Instead of the uniform customary in such insti- 


tutions which serves to accentuate in a humiHating 
way the contrast between the inmates and more for- 
tunate children who possess parents and homes, the 
clothing worn by the orphans of the Hebrew Shelter- 
ing Guardian Society is varied in colour and style. 
Girls skilled in the use of their needle alter their 
dresses to suit their individual tastes, and are allowed 
to sew, either gratis or for payment, for the boys and 
other girls of the Institute, who are unable or un- 
willing to make these alterations themselves. When 
school-tasks are finished, boys and girls of over 
twelve are allowed to engage in light occupations — 
needlework, writing, etc., supplied by the Institute to 
enable them to earn a little pocket-money and learn 
to spend it properly. 

When the boys and girls have passed all the 
standards of the elementary schools, they enter trade 
schools, where they remain until they are proficient 
in some craft which will enable them to earn a living. 
Those who show decided intellectual or business 
aptitudes are sent to colleges or commercial schools. 

The children are encouraged to take an interest 
in social and political life by the foundation of a 
miniature republic, or rather two separate republics, 
one for the boys and the other for the girls, each with 
its president, a boy or a girl according to the case. 
In reality, however, they are under the management 

^to./«- :t:^*:t^ f^^y"^"- f^*^'^''^ 'fpO • .=rx*^ -^^'Uy.Ja. ^<>/»o-vt«-x-u^ -Ci^/Wt^/t^ 


Fig. 17 

Signatures of Criminals 


of a lady, who devises various amusements for the 
children, reading, games, etc., teaches them music 
and drawing, and helps the little President to organ- 
ise entertainments to which outsiders, relatives, and 
schoolfellows are invited. 

The George Junior Republic (America) is a very 
different institution, having been founded for unruly 
and turbulent boys, who are beyond their parents* 
control. It is a species of Reformatory, not a Home 
for Waifs. 

Mr. George, the founder of the Republic, a man 
of original and intelligent cast of mind, if I may 
judge of his individuality from hearsay, decided on 
its establishment after many attempts of a similar 
nature. Being anxiously concerned for the future 
of so many unruly youths who, left to their own 
devices during the summer vacations, degenerate into 
rowdies, he invited about a hundred of these lads to 
spend the summer months on his estate at Freeville, 
near Ithaca, and tried to influence them for good. 
The attempt did not meet with much success at first. 
Mr. George soon realised that however easy it is to 
exercise a beneficial influence on one or two boys 
by adopting gentle methods, it is extremely difficult 
to manage hundreds in this way. He had, however, 
observed how fair and rigidly honest boys generally 
are in their games and how ready they are to con- 


demn any meanness, and he conceived the idea of 
making his charges look after each other. Thus 
each one would feel himself a responsible judge 
of his companions' actions. 

At the end of the summer holidays in 1895, when 
the time came for the boys to return home, five 
remained behind at Freeville in a cottage standing on 
three acres of land ; the next year the number of lads 
remaining was doubled or trebled. A miniature 
Republic was foimded, of which the lads were the 
citizens, and in this capacity, were obliged to make 
laws and to insist on their being respected. The 
Republic proved to be a great success, the temporary 
colony became a permanent one capable of reforming 
wild, imruly boys, who if allowed to wander about in 
the streets and to mix with older and more vicious 
lads, would possibly have been ruined. A recent 
census of the Republic showed that it possessed 150 
citizens, 82 boys and 68 girls, three hundred acres of 
land, twenty-four buildings, a chapel, prison, school, 
and court of justice. 

In order that the colonists should not completely 
lose touch with the outside world, but should in some 
measure be prepared for the social exigencies of their 
future lives, the colony is organised like a miniature 
town. The children, boys and girls, are divided 
into so many families, each consisting of ten or twelve 

1 66 


members presided over by two adults, who take the 
place of parents and look after the household. The 
greater part of the population is engaged in agricul- 
ture, in cultivating the land belonging to the Republic, 
but a certain proportion adopt the arts and crafts 
necessary to every community: joinery, book-bind- 
ing, printing, shoemaking, or shop-keeping. The 
colony coins its own money and possesses a bank run 

Fig. 20 

Brigand Gasparone 

by the boys themselves, where the colonists can de- 
posit their savings. All labour and produce are paid 
for separately. The colony has its own laws sanc- 
tioned by its Parliament, its Tribunal, the mem- 
bers of which, chosen from amongst the citizens, are 
charged with enforcing the laws. The Parliament, 
composed without distinction of sex, of boys and 
girls, decrees the holidays, organises the games and 
entertainments, and establishes the public expendi- 


ture, revenue, and taxes, etc. (see Figs. 19 and 20). 
The results of this system appear to be excellent; 
most of the ex-colonists have turned out well, and in 
view of this fact, republics on similar lines are being 
organised in various parts of the United States. 
This Republic admits only children over twelve, 
who remain in the colony about three years. 

Preventive Institutions for Destitute Adults 

Besides institutions for the careful training of the 
young, methods for preventing crime also include 
all attempts to help young or adult persons at any 
crisis in their lives when they are friendless and out of 
work, for it is precisely then that they are most 
exposed to temptation. 

People's hotels, shelters for emigrants or strangers, 
reading-rooms, inexpensive but wholesome entertain- 
ments, evening classes for instruction in manual work, 
labour bureaus, organisations for assisting emigrants, 
etc., are the most efficacious institutions of this kind. 
And in this connection, I must refer to the work done 
by the Salvation Army, which from what I was able 
to observe in America, seems to me the best organised 
of all existing benevolent associations, since by means 
of a thousand arms it reaches every form of poverty 
and misery and seeks to make all its institutions 
self-supporting. It fights drunkenness by lectures, 


recreation rooms, and temperance hotels; it fights 
poverty by investigating each individual case of 
destitution, visiting poor families, dispensing sym- 
pathy and help, providing shelter for the night at a 
minimum price and industrial homes for those who 
are out of work. Sometimes the rooms are turned 
into recreation halls for drunkards or industrial 
schools for the girls of poor mothers who are obliged 
to go out to work, or temporary hospitals for some 
urgent case which, owing to bureaucratic formalities, 
the hospitals are unable to attend to immediately, or 
rooms with moving pictures for friendly gatherings 
on holidays, thus grafting one benevolent work on 
to another so as to obtain the best results at the 
smallest cost. 

That interesting book Where the Shadows Lengthen 
gives an account of the different institutions founded 
by the Salvation Army in the United States. 
There are sixty-five Industrial Homes, where un- 
employed of all classes can apply for work. In 
these Homes refuse and worn-out articles collected 
from individual homes of their respective towns are 
disinfected and transformed into useful articles, 
which are sold at low prices to the neighbouring poor, 
thus benefiting purchasers, work-people, and society 
in general. During one year these Homes gave 
employment to 8696 men, distributed 1,318, 044 


meals (work-people who are temporarily employed 
in these Homes have a right only to board and 
lodging), and gave a night's shelter to 463,550 

In addition, the Army has seventy-seven Hotels 
where the working-classes find a night's lodging at a 
low price (just sufficient to cover the maintenance 
of the Shelter), and 7990 Accommodations which in 
one year supplied a night's rest to 2,114,037 persons. 
It has, besides, three colonies with 420 inhabitants, 
two boarding-houses for servants and shop-girls out 
of employment, where for a few pence they may 
have a bed, cook their own meals, wash and mend 
their clothes, and are assisted to find work. 

The Salvation Army has also 22 Rescue Homes, 
where young girls condemned by the Juvenile Court 
and generally more neglected than vicious, are 
reformed with a little care and affection, and 3599 
Accommodations to which during one year 1701 
girls were admitted. 

To ensure careful supervision of all the poor 
quarters, the Salvation Army has divided them into 
twenty slums, in each of which they have established 
their Headquarters and send out their soldiers to 
investigate and assist cases of poverty and misery of 
every kind. Each slum Headquarters is provided 
with halls for meetings, rooms for the officials, a 


Kindergarten, and Dormitories which also serve as 
shelters or hospitals for urgent cases. In one year 
26,290 families were visited by the Army and 38,290 
received assistance. Employment, temporary and 
permanent, was found for 66,621 persons. 

All poor of whatever condition, nationality, or 
religion, whether honest or criminal, on applying to 
the nearest of these Headquarters may be sure of 
finding sympathy and help. 

Five Homes have been founded by the Army 
for waifs and children whose mothers are obliged to 
go out to work, and 225 Accommodations where 
children may find a temporary or permanent home. 

A special squad of soldiers has recently under- 
taken work amongst prisoners with great success. 
In two months they visited 43 prisons, wrote 1732 
letters to prisoners, and distributed 10,000 pamphlets. 
19,882 prisoners attended meetings held in the 
prisons, 194 articles of clothing were distributed, 
128 persons provided with work on their release and 
300 with sleeping accommodation. 

In South America the Army has founded similar 
institutions, which embrace others, such as hospitals, 
etc., suited to the needs of each place. 

Other benevolent organisations which seem to me 
admirable, are the Sisterhoods founded twenty years 
ago by the Rabbi Gottheil. These Sisterhoods, as 


may be assumed from the name, are entirely directed 
by women. They consist of premises, sometimes 
annexed to the synagogue; at others, situated in- 
dependently, which form a species of Headquarters 
for the philanthropical work done in the surrounding 
districts. The Sisterhood is open day and night to 
all the poor who are in need of help of any kind. 
There is a resident Directress, under whose orders a 
number of ladies take turns in helping applicants. 
The Sisterhoods were founded on the principle that 
human beings are capable of doing the maximum 
amount of good to others when they follow their 
own particular tendencies and try to utilise their in- 
dividual talents in satisfying the intellectual, moral, 
or recreative needs of the poor. Some of the ladies 
devote themselves to simple legal questions, tracing 
an absent husband or wife, registering births, taking 
unruly children to the Juvenile Courts, or looking 
after them, etc. Others take charge of medical 
matters, arrange for the admission of children or 
adults to the hospitals, etc.; others organise enter- 
tainments, teach singing, drawing, needlework, and 
cooking classes. The premises are used in turn by 
working-girls learning sewing, or others rehearsing 
some play or opera chorus. Almost all the Sisterhoods 
possess a permanent Kindergarten for the children of 
women who are obliged to work outside their homes, 


and an employment bureau. All the ladies, except 
the Directress, give their services gratis. For all 
help given by the Sisterhood, except in the case of the 
very poor, a small fee is demanded, and this enables 
the Sisterhood to pay its way without depending 
much on donations and subscriptions from private 
persons, and to spread and increase its work without 

" The Educational Alliance" of New York, founded 
to give assistance to Jewish emigrants arriving at 
that city from all parts of the world, is another in- 
stitution deserving of mention. This " Alliance" has 
a large building in the Jewish quarter near the docks, 
where emigrants can obtain instruction in gymnastics, 
cookery, domestic economy, English, needlework, etc. 
There are also recreation rooms, baths, a library, and 
rooms where school children can prepare their lessons. 
Men and women are assisted in obtaining employ- 
ment and receive medical and legal aid. There is 
also a species of tribunal for settling petty disputes 
in cases where the parties interested object to apply- 
ing to the ordinary courts. It was crowded when I 
saw it, and I was not surprised to learn that it is of 
great service to the emigrants. For public holi- 
days, the Alliance organises concerts, excursions, and 
lectures, and during the summer vacations it opens 
a number of boarding-houses in the coimtry. 


All these benevolent institutions, schools, rescue 
homes, orphanages, and shelters, organised with so 
much care for the prevention of crime and adopted 
in America by all communities of whatever religion, 
regardless of cost, have given excellent results. 
Bosco and Rice {Les Homicides aux Etats-Unis) 
and my father {Crimes, Ancient and Modern) have 
demonstrated statistically that in States like Massa- 
chusetts, where there is no great influx of im- 
migration nor a large coloured population, the 
diminution in the number of crimes has been very 
rapid, the percentage of homicides being about 
equal to those of England, that is, lower than the 
majority of European States. 

It must be confessed in honour to the people of the 
United States, that they are very ready to admit 
their own short-comings and constantly regret the 
large proportion of crimes in their country. But when 
they reflect that the constant stream of immigration 
contains many lawless elements, that the different 
laws in force in the different States make evasions 
of justice in many cases easy, that the construction 
of houses with the fire-escape communicating directly 
with the public thoroughfare provides an easy means 
of ingress and egress, and that an enormous pro- 
portion of the dense population of their cities is 
composed of people from all parts of the world, 


accustomed to varying moral codes, they may 
realise with pride that the percentage of crime 
in the United States is certainly lower than it 
would be in any Continental State under similar 



PREVENTIVE methods, the careful training of 
children, and assistance rendered to adults in 
critical moments of their lives, may diminish crime, 
but cannot suppress it entirely. Such methods 
should be supplemented by institutions which under- 
take to cure criminals, while protecting society 
from their attacks, and by others for the segrega- 
tion of incurable offenders, who should be rendered 
as useful as possible in order to minimise in every 
way the injury they inflict on the community. 

Although unjustly accused of desiring to revolu- 
tionise penal jurisprudence, criminal anthropologists 
realised from the very beginning that laws cannot be 
changed before there is a corresponding change in 
public opinion, and that even equitable modifications 
in the laws, if too sudden, are always fraught with 

dangerous consequences. Therefore, instead of a 



radical change in the penal code, their aim was to 
effect a few slight alterations in the graduation of 
penalties, in accordance with age, sex, and the degree 
of depravity manifested by culprits in their offences. 
They also counselled certain modifications in the 
application of the laws, the reformation according to 
modern ideas, of prisons, asylums, penal colonies, and 
all institutions for the punishment and redemption 
of offenders, and an extensive application of those 
penalties devised in past ages as substitutes for im- 
prisonment, which have the advantage of corrupting 
the culprit less, and costing the community very 

Juvenile Offenders. Young people, and, above all, 
children, should be dealt with separately by special 
legislative methods. 

With the exception of England, where quite 
recently a children's court has been opened at 
Westminster, special tribunals for the young are 
unknown in Europe. However, in modern times, 
the penal codes of nearly every European State 
make marked allowance for the age of offenders, 
and where there is no differentiation in the laws, 
the magistrate uses his own discretion and re- 
fuses in many cases to convict juvenile of- 
fenders, even when they are guilty of serious 


These instinctive methods of deahng with the 
young have many drawbacks: 

1. Without special courts, children guilty of 
simple acts of insubordination or petty offences 
(thefts of fruit or riding in trams and trains without 
paying the fare) which cannot be separated by a hard 
and fast line from ordinary childish pranks, come 
into contact with criminal types in court or in prison, 
and this is greatly detrimental to them morally. If 
naturally inclined to dishonesty, they run the risk of 
developing into occasional criminals and of losing all 
sense of shame : or if really honest, contact with bad 
characters cannot fail to shock and perturb them, 
even though their stay in prison be only a short one. 

2. The magistrate has no legal powers to super- 
vise juvenile offenders, nor when their actions show 
grave depravity, to segregate and cure them to pre- 
vent their developing into criminals. It has already 
been shown that born criminals begin their career at 
a' very early age. In one case cited in a previous 
chapter, a morally insane child of twelve killed one of 
his companions for a trifling motive — a dispute about 
an egg ; in another, a child of ten caused the arrest of 
his father by a false accusation; he had previously 
attempted to strangle a little brother. Children of 
this type, notwithstanding their tender age, are a 
social danger, and the moral disease from which they 


suffer should be taken in hand at once. In any case 
they should be carefully segregated until a cure 
appears to be effected. 

Minors require a special code, which takes into 
consideration the fact that certain offences are in- 
cidental to childhood and that children who have com- 
mitted these offences may still develop into honest 
men. It should also contain provisions for dealing 
with born criminals, epileptics, and the morally in- 
sane at an early age, by segregation in special re- 
formatories where they cannot corrupt juvenile 
offenders of a non-criminal type, and where a 
thorough-going attempt to cure them may be made. 

An excellent reform of this character has been ef- 
fected in many of the United States of America with 
the adoption of the probation system and juvenile 
courts which protect children from the corruption of 
prison life and contact with habitual offenders. The 
juvenile court, this tribunal exclusively instituted 
for minors, has been brought to great perfection in 
many of the United States. In some, special build- 
ings have been erected for the hearing of cases against 
children, by which means all contact with adult 
criminals is avoided: in others ^ where this is not 
practicable, a part of the ordinary court is set aside 
for them with a separate entrance. 

Nor are juvenile offenders judged according to 


the common law; their offences are tried by special 
magistrates, who deal with them in a paternal, rather 
than in a strictly judicial spirit, and the penalties are 
slight, varied, and suited to children. The magis- 
trates are assisted by officers, who obtain information 
from teachers, parents, and neighbours as to the 
character, conduct, faults, and good qualities of the 
culprit, and with these indications the magistrate 
is able to essay the correction, not of the particular 
offence which has brought the child within his 
jurisdiction, but his general organic defects. The 
punishments do not include imprisonment, and are 
drawn from practical experience and common-sense, 
not from any article of the penal code. 

I was present at the hearing of a case against a 
lad, who was accused of having travelled ou'a subway 
without paying. He was sentenced to copy out 
the by-laws twenty times, to learn them by heart 
and repeat them a month later at the same court. 
In the case of more serious offences, children may 
be sent to some public or private reformatory, ac- 
cording to the circumstances of the parents. How- 
ever, none of these punishments are infamous, and 
parents themselves, when unable to control their 
children, have recourse to the juvenile court. 

It is supplemented in a very efficacious man- 
ner by the probation system, the organisation of a 


number of men and women who undertake the super- 
vision of children when the court decides that they 
require it. These protectors use every means at 
their disposal to prevent their charges falling into 
bad ways and assist them in every possible way to 
correct their defects. 

This system has proved to be so efficacious, and 
at the same time so devoid of any drawbacks, that 
its unconditional adoption by all the States of Europe 
and America would be of great social advantage. 

Institutions for Female Offenders 

The weighty reasons which call for separate 
courts and reformatories for juvenile offenders are 
equally valid in the case of female law-breakers, for 
whom special tribunals and legislation should be 

The percentage of criminality among women 
is considerably lower than that of men, and in 
nearly all cases offenders belong to the category of 

My father's work The Female Offender demon- 
strates that prostitution is the true equivalent of 
criminality. When we except this class of unfor- 
tunates, there remain only hysterical and occasional 
offenders, guilty generally of petty larceny (particu- 
larly of a domestic nature) or of harbouring criminals 


and acting as more or less passive accomplices; and 
criminals from passion, who commit infanticide or 
kill faithless husbands and lovers. In all these 
cases, imprisonment should not be resorted to; in 
fact, the greater number might be dealt with by a 
magisterial reprimand or the granting of conditional 
liberty. In view also, of the important part played 
by dress, ornaments, etc., in the feminine world, 
penalties inflicted on vanity — the cutting off of the 
hair, the obligation to wear a certain costume, 
etc., might with advantage be substituted for 

The milder nature of feminine criminality, the 
usefulness of women in the home, and the serious 
injury inflicted on the family and society in general 
by the segregation of the wife and mother (if only for 
a short period), are reasons for advocating the insti- 
tution of special tribunals for dealing with the 
offences of women and special legislation which would 
take into consideration their position in the family 
and the fact that they are rarely a violent social 

At present, in Europe at least, no such differential 
treatment exists. The reduction of penalties is left 
entirely to the discretion and humanity of judges, who 
in many cases, it is true, are instinctively disposed 
to be more indulgent towards women and to take 


these conditions into account. But it would be a far 
more satisfactory state of things if legislation paid 
due regard to such circumstances, just as in Italy in 
enrolling recruits for compulsory military service, 
allowance is made for social and family relations, 
the only sons of widowed mothers, men of delicate 
constitution, etc., being exempted. 

In spite of the low percentage and, generally 
speaking, trifling importance of the crimes committed 
by women, there are a small number of female 
delinquents, some of whom show an extraordinary 
degree of depravity, as though all the perversity 
lacking in the others were concentrated in these few. 
They are true born criminals, epileptics, and morally 
insane subjects. 

These serious anti-social elements, murderers, 
poisoners, and swindlers, might be secluded in a small 
reformatory with compulsory labour and silence as 
additional penalties. Separate cells, however, are 
not necessary. All reformatories for women should 
be provided with a nursery where children born in 
prison could be nursed by their mothers, thereby 
diminishing the social injury which must result 
from the imprisonment of any mother, and foster- 
ing the growth of the sublime and sacred maternal 
sentiment, which is unfortunately so often lacking 
in criminals. 


The Reformatory Prison for Women at South 
Framingham, near Boston, under the management of 
Mrs. Morton, is an excellent example of an institu- 
tion conducted on the lines laid down by criminolog- 
ists. The Reformatory is situated at about an 
hour's journey by rail from Boston, in the midst of 
fields which are cultivated by a part of the convict 
population. No high walls surround the building 
and separate it from the outer world, nor is it watched 
by guards. A broad avenue leads to the entrance, 
where, in answer to my ring, I was welcomed by neat 
white-clad attendants and shown into a charming 
room looking out upon a lovely garden. I passed 
through corridors, unmolested by the sound of keys 
grating in locks, from this room to the dining-rooms, 
dormitories, recreation and work rooms. 

As soon as prisoners enter the Reformatory, they 
are carefully examined by an intelligent and pleasant 
woman physician, who is in charge of the infirmary 
where the anthropological examination takes place. 
When the prisoner has been declared able-bodied, 
she is placed in one of the work-rooms to learn and 
follow the trade indicated by the medical officer as 
the best adapted to her constitution and aptitude. 
At night, she is conducted to a second-class cell 
situated in a large, v\^ell-lighted corridor. The cell 
is furnished with a table, bed, chair, pegs to hang 


clothes on, a calendar, a picture, and a book or two. 

Work is compulsory and done by the piece, and 
when each prisoner has finished her allotted task, 
she is at liberty to work for herself or to read books 
supplied from the library. If unskilled, she receives 
instruction in some manual work, and the payment 
for her labour is put aside and handed over to her on 
her release, with the small outfit she has prepared 
and sewed during detention. 

Women with children under a year, or those who 
give birth to a child in the Reformatory, are allowed 
to have their little ones with them during the night 
and part of the day. When they go to work every 
morning, the babies are left in the nursery, which 
adjoins the infirmary, and is under the direct super- 
vision of the doctor. The nursery, a large, well- 
lighted room, spotlessly clean and bright with 
flowers, is a veritable paradise for the little ones. 

At noon, the prisoner is permitted to fetch her 
baby, feed, and keep it near her during dinner-hour. 
At two o'clock she resumes work until five, when she 
again takes charge of her baby till next morning. 
A cradle is placed in her cell for the infant, and she 
is provided with a small bath. 

A series of trifling rewards encourage moral im- 
provement. Those who show good conduct during 
the first two months are transferred to the first class 


with its accompanying privileges, a better and more 
spacious cell, a smart collar, the right to corre- 
spond with friends and to receive visitors more fre- 
quently, to have an hour's recreation in company 
with other good-conduct prisoners and to receive 
relatives in a pretty sitting-room instead of in the 
common visitors' room. 

The final reward for uninterrupted improvement 
and untiring industry on the part of the prisoner is 
her ultimate release, which since the sentence is 
unlimited, may take place as soon as the Directress 
considers her competent to earn an honest living. 
But released prisoners are not left to their own de- 
vices with the risk of speedily succumbing to 
temptation. A commission of ladies interested in the 
Reformatory (one of whom, Mrs. Russell, was my 
guide on the occasion of my visit there) are con- 
sulted before the release of each prisoner and 
undertake to furnish her with suitable employment, 
and to guide and watch over her during the first 
few months so that she may be sure of advice and 
assistance in any difficulties. 

Institutions for Minor Offenders 

Punishments should vary according to the type 
of criminal, distinction being made between criminals 
of passion, criminaloids, and born criminals. 


Criminals of Passion. The true criminal of pas- 
sion suffers more from remorse than from any 
penalty the law can inflict. Additional punishments 
should be : exile of the offender from his native town 
or from that in which the person offended resides; 
indemnity for the injury caused, in money, or in 
compulsory labour if the offender is not possessed 
of sufficient means. Recourse should never be had 
to imprisonment, which has an injurious effect even 
upon the better types of law-breakers ; and criminals 
from passion do not constitute a menace to society. 
On the contrary, they are not infrequently superior 
to average humanity and are only prompted to 
Clime by an exaggerated altruism which with care 
might be turned into good channels. 

This applies equally to political offenders, for 
whom exile is the oldest, most dreaded, and most 
efficacious punishment, and the disuse into which 
it has fallen does not appear to be justified, since it 
admits of graduation, is temporary, and an adequate 
check on any attempt at insurrection. 

Criminaloids. Repeated short terms of detention 
in prison should be avoided and other penalties 
substituted for petty offences against police regula- 
tions, cheating the Customs, etc., when committed by 
criminaloids who are not recidivists and have no 
accomplices. A short term of imprisonment, which 


brings this type of offender into contact with habitual 
criminals, not only does not serve as a deterrent, but 
generally has an injurious effect, because it tends to 
lessen respect for the law, and, in the case of recidiv- 
ists, to rob punishment of all its terrors ; and because 
criminaloids, when once branded with the infamy 
of prison and corrupted by associaton with worse 
types, are liable to commit more serious crimes. 

For all minor offences, fines are more efficacious 
than imprisonment and, in the case of the poor, should 
be replaced by compulsory labour at the discretion 
of the magistrate. Binding over under a guarantee 
to make good the injury done, corporal punishment, 
confinement to the house, judicial reprimands and 
cautions are applicable to offenders of this type, as 
is also the system of remitting first offences used in 
France with great success by Magnaud. Under this 
system, the offender is sentenced to an adequate 
penalty, which, however, is only inflicted in the case 
of recidivation. 

An efficacious, and at the same time, more serious 
method of dealing with criminaloids, is by means 
of the probation system and indeterminate sentence. 
The offender is sentenced to the maximum penalty 
applicable to his particular offence, but it may be 
diminished after a certain time if he shows signs of 
improvement. During this interval he is on proba- 


tion, that is, under supervision, much in the same 
way as juvenile offenders. 

The probation system is extensively and success- 
fully adopted in America, either singly or in con- 
junction with other penalties, as shown above. 

The Probation System 

This is an ideal manner of dealing with offenders 
of a less serious type, minors and criminaloids, who 
have fallen into bad ways, since, instead of punishing 
them, it seeks to encourage in them habits of in- 
tegrity and to check the growth of vices by means 
of a benevolent but strict supervision. The offender 
is placed under the guidance of a respectable person, 
who tries in every way to smooth the path of reform 
by providing his charge with employment if he has 
none, or putting him in the way of learning some trade 
if he is unskilled, by isolating him from bad company, 
by rewarding any improvement, and reporting pro- 
gress to the central office, which has to decide whether 
the period of probation is sufficient, or, in cases 
where it has not been efficacious, to have recourse to 
sterner measures. 

The only drawback to this system is the difficulty 
of applying it, because it is not always possible to 
find in every town a number of persons of high moral 
standing, who are able and willing to exercise vigi- 


lance over offenders. However, to the honour of the 
United States it must be said that in many States 
this supervision is organised in a truly admirable 
manner. At Boston I visited the Probation Office 
organised and managed by Miss Mary Dewson, which 
undertakes the supervision of girls and is a model 
worthy of imitation from the general arrangement 
down to the smallest details. 

The relations between the officers and their 
charges are in most cases very cordial . The little girls 
write most affectionate letters, in which they narrate 
their joys and sorrows, express penitence for their 
shortcomings and ask advice and help as of guardian 
spirits. The officers in their turn show themselves 
to be affectionate protectors and are scrupulous in 
the fulfilment of their duties towards the central 
office. Upwards of one hundred lockers were opened 
at my request, and I was able to examine the docu- 
ments relating to each of the children with their 
antecedents, improvement, or the reverse, method- 
ically entered up to a few days previous to my visit. 

The splendid results obtained everywhere by 
this system are leading to its gradual adoption in 
nearly all the States of the Union and in many parts 
of Australia and England, in dealing with young 
people, adults, and all first offenders convicted of 
petty infractions of the law, drunkenness, disturbance 


of the peace, and disorderly conduct, and also for 
prisoners released on ticket-of-leave. The proba- 
tioner is obliged to report himself every fortnight, or 
at any time the probation officer may desire. The 
officer is empowered to supervise the conduct of 
the probationer at home and in his place of employ- 
ment, and to threaten him with legal proceedings 
should his conduct be unsatisfactory. 

The supervision of adults, as may be supposed, is a 
far more delicate and complicated matter than that of 
children, and however discreetly the officer proceeds 
in order^to keep the matter hidden from neighbours 
and employers, the position is such a humiliating 
one for adults that many prefer imprisonment to 
supervision. I was told that special reformatories 
have been established at Boston for the detention of 
those who prefer prison to vigilance. 

Perhaps this aversion of adult offenders in 
America to the probation system is due to the fact 
that the probation officer is vested with powers 
almost exceeding those of any magistrate. If he 
thinks fit, he may extend the period of supervision 
almost indefinitely or convert it into imprisonment. 
Moreover, the feeling that every movement and 
action, however innocent, is being watched is very 
galling to a grown-up person. However, these 
drawbacks could no doubt be remedied. 


In England, supervision is replaced by a pledge 
of good behaviour guaranteed by the culprit or a 
surety, who is induced to exercise vigilance by the 
knowledge that he will lose the sum deposited in the 
case of recidivation. The magistrate is obliged by 
English law to fix the period of probation, which 
cannot be extended without another sentence. In 
France, Belgium, and Australia, the probation system 
appears to have given good results. 

Corporal Punishment. Although repugnant to 
civilised ideas, the various forms of corporal punish- 
ment, fasting, cold shower-bath, or even the rod, are 
very suitable substitutes for imprisonment in the 
case of children guilty of petty offences, because not 
only are these punishments inexpensive and have 
the advantage of creating a deeper and more im- 
mediate impression, but they do not corrupt minor 
offenders nor do they interrupt their regular occu- 
pations, whether work or study. Fines should always 
be inflicted for slight infractions of the law and in 
all cases of petty larceny, frauds, and forgeries com- 
mitted by minors. The fines should be proportioned 
to the means of the individual and the gravity of the 
offence, and replaced by compulsory labour in the 
case of those who refuse to pay. 

Indemnity. The obligation to make adequate 
compensation for the injury caused would be an 


ideal punishment, but is extremely difificult to put 
into practice. The magistrate, however, should do 
his utmost to make suitable use of this penalty, 
and the victim should be legally entitled to receive 
a part of the proceeds from work done by the culprit 
during detention. 


Minors convicted for the first time of such serious 
offences that supervision becomes an insufficient 
guarantee against recidivation, should be relegated to 
reformatories or other institutions which undertake 
to punish offences and to segregate and correct 

For the truly magnificent scale on which such re- 
claiming institutions are conducted in North and 
South America, both continents merit special mention. 

The oldest and most celebrated of these reforma- 
tories, that founded at Elmira by Brockway, owed 
its inspiration to my father's book Criminal Man and 
is the first reformatory that has been instituted on 
similar principles. 

The convicts admitted to Elmira are young men 
between the ages of sixteen and thirty, convicted for 
the first time of any offence, except those of the 
most serious kind. The Administrative Council is 
invested with imlimited powers for determining the 


period of detention and may release prisoners long 
before the expiration of their sentence. 

Each newcomer has a bath, dons the uniform of 
the Institute, is photographed, registered, medically 
examined, and finally shut up in a cell to meditate 
upon his offence. During this time the superin- 
tendent obtains all the available information concern- 
ing his character, environment, and the probable 
causes that have led to his crime, and this informa- 
tion serves as a basis for the cure. According to the 
aptitude and culture of the prisoner, he is placed in 
a technical or industrial class, where he learns some 
trade which will enable him to become honestly 
self-supporting on his release. He is immediately 
acquainted with his duties and rights and the con- 
ditions imder which he may regain his liberty. 

Education in the Reformatory consists of instruc- 
tion in general knowledge and special training in some 
trade. Moral and intellectual progress is stimulated 
by the publication of a weekly review. The Summary , 
which gives a report on political matters and the 
news of the Reformatory. 

The convicts are divided into three categories: 
good, middling, and bad. The transference from the 
second to the first class entails certain privileges, 
especially those respecting communication with the 
outer world, the right to receive visitors, to have 



books, and to eat at a common table instead of par- 
taking of a solitary meal in a cell. Those who obtain 
the highest marks for good conduct are at liberty to 
walk about the grounds and are entrusted with confi- 
dential missions, such as the supervision of the other 
convicts. Bad conduct marks cause prisoners to be 
transferred from a higher to the lowest division, where 
they are obliged to perform the rudest labour. 

First-class convicts are purposely exposed to 
temptations of various kinds, and when they have 
passed through this ordeal triumphantly ,' they ob- 
tain a conditional release. This cannot take place, 
however, until the prisoner is provided with regular 
employment of some kind, procured by his own 
exertions, through friends, or by the director of the 

For six months after his release he is obliged to 
give an account of himself regularly in the manner 
prescribed by the Director; after one year absolute 
liberty is regained. 

In order to reduce the working expenses of the 
Reformatory as much as possible, all posts, even that 
of superintendent or teacher in the technical schools, 
are filled by the convicts. 


Although born criminals, habitual criminals, and 


recidivists should be carefully isolated from minor 
offenders, they nevertheless require institutes con- 
ducted on nearly similar principles. A prison, which 
is to punish, but at the same time to correct and 
redeem, demands strict discipline: in fact, milder 
punishments have very little effect and their con- 
stant repetition is harmful, although any exaggeration 
of brute force is more injurious than useful. Harsh- 
ness may cow criminals, but does not improve them: 
on the contrary, it only serves to irritate them or 
to convert them into hypocrites. Even the adult 
offender should be looked upon in the light of a child 
or a moral invalid, who must be cured by a mixture 
of gentleness and severity, but gentleness should 
predominate, since criminals are naturally prone 
to vindictiveness and are apt to regard even 
slight punishments as unjust tortures. Even a 
too rigid adherence to the rule of silence may 
have a detrimental effect on the character of 
the prisoners. An old convict once said to 
Despine: ''When you winked at slight offences 
against the rules, we used to talk more, but 
there was no harm in what we said. Now we 
talk less, but when we do, we blaspheme and plot 

In Danish prisons under rigorous discipline, in- 
fractions of prison regulations amounted to 30%; 


more recently under milder rule such infractions only 
amount to 6%. 

In order to strengthen the sense of justice which, 
as we have said, is little developed in criminals, if 
indeed it is not altogether suffocated by ignoble 
passions, it is often advisable to appeal to their vanity 
and self-esteem to aid in maintaining discipline and 
increasing industry, by constituting them judges of 
each other's conduct. Obermayer used to divide 
the convicts into small groups and ask them to elect 
their own superintendents and teachers, thus estab- 
lishing a spirit of good-comradeship and rendering 
possible a system of detailed and individual in- 
struction, the sole kind that is really efficacious. 
The 385 convicts at Detroit showed the highest per- 
centage of efficiency, because they were divided into 
21 classes with 28 teachers, all of whom, with the 
exception of one, were prisoners. It was noticed 
that the worst convicts were the best teachers 
(Pears, Prisons and Reform, 1872), which proves 
that even the most perverse elements may often be 
utilised for the improvement of others. 

Equally good was Despine's method of letting a 
certain time elapse before inflicting punishment, so 
that it should not be attributed to mere anger on his 
part. As soon as the infraction was noted, the 
prisoner was left to reflect on his conduct, and an 


hour later the teacher and Director came to show 
him the penalty prescribed by the regulations. 
Sometimes it was found efficacious to administer a 
rebuke and punishment to the whole group to which 
the offender belonged. Obermayer considered this 
method to be advantageous. 

Work should be the motive force, aim, and recrea- 
tion of every institute of this kind, in order to stimu- 
late flagging energies, to accustom prisoners to useful 
pursuits after release, to reinforce prison discipline 
and to compensate the State for the expense incurred. 
This latter object should, however, always be sub- 
ordinated to the others, and lucrative trades must 
occasionally be avoided. Occupations which might 
pave the way for other crimes: lockmaking, brass- 
work, engraving, photography, and calligraphy 
should not be adopted, but choice made, instead, of 
those agricultural employments which show the low- 
est mortality and are much in demand. The manu- 
facture of articles in straw, esparto, and string, 
printing, tailoring, the making of pottery, and build- 
ing are all suitable trades, but those which require 
dangerous tools — shoemaking, cabinet-making, and 
carpentering — should be resorted to last of all. 
The rush baskets made by the convicts at Noto 
(Sicily) obtained several medals. 

The tasks allotted to prisoners should always be 


proportioned to their strength and tastes. Unskilled 
or physically weaker individuals who conscientiously 
do their best, should be rewarded in some way, if 
not pecuniarily, at least by a reduction of their 
sentences. In this way work becomes profitable 
and a spirit of comradeship and friendly emulation 
develops among the prisoners. 

Institutes for Habitual Criminals 

To protect society against the repeated misdeeds 
of these offenders and those of born criminals, segre- 
gation is essential. However, the institutions set 
apart to receive these classes should still regard the 
redemption of the inmates as their chief aim, and 
only when all attempts have proved futile should 
they be replaced by almost perpetual isolation in 
a penal colony. 

The Penitenciario Nacional of Buenos Ayres is a 
splendid instance of an institute founded for the 
redemption of adult offenders as well as for the punish- 
ment of their offences. The inmates of this peniten- 
tiary comprise offenders of all types — criminaloids, 
habitual and born criminals — ^belonging to the Pro- 
vince of Buenos Ayres. It was established a few 
years after the Reformatory at Elmira, the funda- 
mental principles of which it has imitated with cer- 
tain wise modifications to suit diverse circumstances. 


Externally, it has nothing in common with the 
gloomy European prisons. It is a large, white 
edifice with a broad flight of steps leading to the 
street and is devoid of all signs of force, soldiers, 
sentry-boxes, etc. 

After passing through a wide vestibule, I reached 
a large, shady court-yard with low walls almost hidden 
beneath a wealth of flowers and foliage. A corridor 
opening on to the court-yard was flanked on each side 
by a row of open, white cells, each well lighted by a 
fair-sized window during the day, and by electricity 
at night. Each cell is furnished with book-shelves, 
a table with paper, pen and inkstand, and a chair. 
All the corridors, which are gay with plants, converge 
towards a central glass-room, whence the sub-in- 
spector surveys all the radiating corridors under his 
jurisdiction. Each corridor ends in a workshop, 
where printing, lithography, shoemaking, metal and 
steel work are carried on, and between the corridors 
are garden plots in which fruit, vegetables, and 
flowers are cultivated. The workshops are reckoned 
among the best the Republic contains. The print- 
ing-offlce turns out many weekly papers, illustrated 
magazines, and scientific and literary reviews. Foot- 
gear of the finest and most elegant quality is manu- 
factured in the shoe-factory, and the foundry and 
workshop produce lathes, boilers, industrial and 


agricultural machines and implements. All the 
cooking in the Penitentiary is done by steam, and 
the plant is installed in a large building erected 
by the prisoners themselves. 

Work in the Penitentiary is compulsory. On 
arrival, each convict receives instruction in some 
handicraft, chosen by himself or one of the foremen. 
Of course swindlers and forgers are not admitted 
to trades like lithography, for reasons easy to 

The convicts receive regular wages which vary 
according to their abilities and are 'about equal to 
the standard wages in each particular trade. All 
earnings are put aside and handed to the convict 
on his release when he is also provided with suitable 

Work is finished at five o'clock in the evening and 
after a substantial supper the prisoners are divided 
into nine classes, six elementary and three second- 
ary, according to their culture and intelligence. If 
illiterate, they are taught reading and writing and 
later, arithmetic, geography, history, languages, and 
drawing, — this latter being adapted to the particular 
trade of each individual. When school is finished, 
prisoners are allowed to go to the library to return 
the books they have read and take others for the 


Instead of a weekly newspaper like that published 
at Elmira, intellectual development is stimulated 
by means of lectiires delivered each week by the 
prisoners or their teachers and attended by the 
Director, Vice-Director, and all the convicts. 

In addition to the care lavished by the Director, 
Sefior B alive, on the work and education of his 
charges, he spares no pains to encourage moral pro- 
gress by rewarding good conduct. As each convict 
enters the Penitentiary, his name, trial, sentence, 
and antecedents are entered in a book with his photo- 
graph and particulars of his physical and psychic 
individuality, and these data are supplemented by 
remarks on his conduct and good actions, if any, so 
that on his release a clear idea is obtained of the 
moral progress he has made while in prison. 

Penal Colonies 

When after unsparing efforts for the redemption 
of a criminal, repeated convictions prove him to be 
a hopeless recidivist, the community should decline 
to allow him to perfect his anti-social abilities at their 
expense in prisons or at large, and should segregate 
him permanently, unless, indeed, there is any hope 
of reform, or circumstances render him harmless. 
Perpetual confinement in a prison, even of an improved 
type is, however, both cruel and expensive, but an 


excellent substitute may be found in the Penal 
Colony. Here the chief object should be, not to 
educate, elevate, or redeem the criminal, but to ren- 
der him as useful as possible, so that he does not 
prove too great a burden on the community. 

Penal colonies should be situated on islands or 
in remote territories, that is, completely isolated 
from populous districts. The agricultural colony at 
Meseplas founded by the Belgian Government is a 
model worthy of imitation. 

In this colony the convict population is divided 
into four categories: 

1. Turbulent and dangerous individuals, who 
exercise an injurious influence over the other in- 
mates of reformatories and prisons; 

2. Recidivists, ticket-of -leave men, escaped and 
mutinous convicts; 

3. Persons of bad reputation, who have hitherto 
avoided conviction ; 

4. The better types, who have been convicted 
three or four times only and although not depraved, 
lack moral stamina and are constantly yielding to 
temptation when at large. 

All the common necessities of life are supplied by 
the colonists themselves, beginning with the dwellings 
which are erected as they are required and according 
to the resources available. In this way, extensive 


building operations are carried out at a very slight 
cost to the State. Cattle and crops are raised on 
the land, which is cultivated by a number of the 
convicts, while others manufacture articles which 
find a ready market in the vicinity and for which 
they possess suitable tools. 

Any convict refusing to work is imprisoned on 
bread and water. All work is paid for in special 
coin current only in the colony itself, but which, 
on the release of the owner, is exchanged for the coin 
of the country. 

The "Open Door," an institution on similar 
lines, was founded by Professor Cabred for the insane 
of the Province of Buenos Ayres, and judging from 
what I was able to observe during my short visit, it 
fulfils its purpose admirably. It consists of a large 
village populated by some ten or twelve thousand 
lunatics. With the exception of the price of the 
land and the cost of erecting the first buildings, 
this colony does not cost the community anything; 
on the contrary, the colonists are able to make large 

The ultimate plan of the village with streets and 
edifices has already been mapped out, and the 
patients are continually occupied in erecting new 
buildings, etc. There is a brick-kiln, a carpenter 
shop, and a smithy, which produce all the materials 


used in building and furnishing the dwelHngs. Only 
the less dangerous patients are employed in these 
operations: those of weaker mind make brushes and 
wicker articles. 

The colony is situated in the midst of a vast 
stretch of land in the Province of Buenos Ayres, on 
which fruit and vegetables are grown by a number of 
the patients. Others are occupied in raising fowls 
and pigs, which supply the colony with eggs and 
meat and yield a large profit when sold outside. 

Professor Cabred wisely prefers agriculture of this 
kind to the raising of large crops of wheat or maize, 
because it simplifies the task of supervision necessary 
in any colony, and gives the colonists, whose toil is 
compulsory, a continual and regular occupation of an 
almost unvarying character. (This applies equally 
to the case of a penal colony.) Workmen, foremen, 
engineers, builders, mechanics, gardeners, — ^all are 
patients, with the exception of the Director, the 
doctor, and about a hundred mounted warders, 
who pass rapidly from one part to another and 
are able to intervene in suicidal or homicidal 

A colony on these lines would be suitable for the 
large mass of habitual criminals, who, although 
unable to resist the temptations of ordinary life, 
are capable of useful work under supervision, and 


under such conditions may prove beneficial to them- 
selves and to the community. 

Institutions for Born Criminals and the 
Morally Insane 

A sylumsfor Criminal Insane. We have still to con- 
sider born criminals, epileptics, and the morally in- 
sane, whose crimes spring from inherited perverse 
instincts. These unfortunate beings cannot be con- 
signed to ordinary prisons, since, owing to their state 
of mental alienation, they do not possess even the 
modesty of the vicious — ^hypocrisy — and they never 
fail to pervert those criminaloids with whom they 
come in contact. Malcontents by nature, they 
distrust everybody and everything, and as they see 
an enemy in every warder and official, they are the 
centres of constant mutinies. 

To confine them in common asylums would be still 
more injurious, for they preach sodomy, fiight, and re- 
volt and incite the others to robbery, and their inde- 
cent and savage ways, as well as the terrible reputa- 
tion which often precedes them, make them objects of 
terror and repulsion to the quieter patients and their 
relatives, who dread to see their kin in such company. 

Ordinary asylums are equally unsuited to those 
victims of mental derangement who, although de- 
void of the depraved instincts of the morally insane 


and generally of blameless career up to the moment 
in which they are led to commit a crime by some 
isolated evil impulse, have a bad influence on the 
other inmates. Unlike other lunatics, they do not 
shrink from the company of others, whom they 
torment with their violence and contaminate with 
that spirit of restlessness and discontent which 
distinguished them even before they became insane 
or criminals. Firm in the belief that they are al- 
ways being ill treated and insulted, they instil these 
ideas into their companions and suggest thoughts 
of flight and revolt, which would never occur to ordi- 
nary lunatics, absorbed as they are by their own 
world of fancies. The condition of the inmates is 
thereby aggravated, and it becomes impossible to 
accord them that large measure of freedom advo- 
cated by all modern alienists. 

To leave these madmen at large would be more dan- 
gerous still. Beneath an appearance of perfect calm 
and mental lucidity are hidden morbid impulses, which 
may give terrible results at some unexpected moment. 

All these offenders — insane criminals and the 
morally insane whose irresistible tendencies are det- 
rimental to the community — should be confined in 
special institutes to be cured, or at any rate segre- 
grated for life. No infamy would attach to their 
names, because their irresponsibility would be clearly 


recognised, and society would be secure from their 

England was the first country to provide asylums 
for the criminal insane. In 1 840 a portion of Bedlam 
was set aside for this purpose. Fisherton House, a 
special private asylum of this kind, was opened 
in 1 844, and later others were instituted at Dimdrum 
(Ireland) in 1850, at Broadmoor in 1863, and at Perth 
(Scotland) in 1858, to receive criminals who commit 
crimes in a state of insanity, or become insane during 
their trial, and all prisoners whose state of limacy or 
imbecility renders them unable to conform to the 
discipline of a prison. Of course sanguinary and 
violent scenes often occur in these asylums, where 
the pernicious influence this type of lunatic exercises 
over his surroundings in ordinary asylums or prisons 
is multiplied and intensified a hundred-fold. Con- 
spiracies, almost unknown in common asylums, and 
the murder of warders or officials are very common. 
Despairing of release and conscious of their irrespon- 
sibility, these wretched beings attack the warders, 
destroy the walls which confine them, murder and 
wound others and themselves; but at any rate the 
injury is limited to a small circle, and both harmless 
lunatics and common criminals are not contaminated. 
Moreover, even in criminal asylums, long experience 
with these strange pathological types and the adop- 


tion of subdivisions like those recently introduced 
into Broadmoor by Orange have done much towards 
improving the general condition and eliminating 
many drawbacks. According to this classification 
insane criminals are divided into two classes, un- 
convicted and convicted, the former class being sub- 
divided into untried and tried. Untried offenders, 
those who are considered to have been insane before 
committing the crime, are sent to a common county 
asylum, where are also confined persons convicted of 
minor offences and declared insane (the percentage 
of cures in this class is considerable) and others 
suspected of shamming insanity. In this way, the 
better elements are eliminated and the inmates 
of the criminal insane asylum reduced to the worst 
and most dangerous types only. 

Capital Punishment 

When, notwithstanding prisons, deportation, and 
criminal asylums, individuals of ineradicable anti- 
social instincts make repeated attempts on the 
lives of others, whether honest men or their own 
companions in evil-doing, the only remedy is the 
application of the extreme penalty — death. 

Amongst barbarous peoples, on whom prison 
makes but slight impression, or in primitive com- 
munities that do not possess criminal asylums, 


penitentiaries, and other means of social defence and 
redemption, the death penalty has always been 
considered the most certain and at the same time 
the most economical means of common protection. 
But criminal anthropologists realise that the desire 
to abolish this penalty, which so often finds ex- 
pression in civilised countries, arises from a noble 
sentiment and one they have no wish to destroy. 

Capital punishment, according to the opinion of 
my father, should only be applied in extreme cases, 
but the fear of it, suspended like a sword of Damocles 
above their heads, would serve as a check to the 
murderous proclivities displayed by some criminals 
when they are condemned to perpetual imprisonment. 

We have, it is true, no right to take the lives of 
others but if we refuse to recognise the legitimacy 
of self-defence, exile and imprisonment are equally 

When we realise that there exist beings, born 

criminals, who are organised for evil, who reproduce 

the instincts common to the wildest savages and 

even those of ferocious carnivora, and are destined 

by nature to injure others, our resentment becomes 

softened; but notwithstanding our sense of pity, 

we feel justified in demanding their extermination 

when they prove to be dangerous and absolutely 




Penalties Proposed by the Modern School 

The following tables, compiled by Senator Garofalo, a 
celebrated jurist of the Modern School and inserted in 
Criminal Man, vol. iii, show the distribution of penalties 
systematically arranged. 

I. Born Criminals who are utterly devoid of the senti- 

ment of pity. 

Murderers exhib- 
iting moral in- 
sensibility and in- 
stinctive cruelty, 
convicted of 

Murder for lucre or 
some other egotis- 
tical object 
Murder without 
provocation on the 
part of the victim- 
Murder with fero- 
cious execution 

Prison, penal col- 
ony, criminal in- 
sane asylum, or 
capital punish- 
ment if recidivists. 

II. Violent and Impulsive Criminals, Criminaloids, and 
those guilty through insufficiency of pity, of decency, of in- 
hibitory power, and through prejudiced notions of honor. 

Adults convicted 

Minors convicted 

Cruelty, assault 
and battery, rape, 

Murder, cruelty 
and other offences 
against the person 
without provoca- 

Offences against 

Criminal insane 
asylum for epilep- 
tics, or 

Indefinite seclusion 
for a period equal 
to one of the na- 
tural divisions of 
a man's life, with 
period of super- 

Special reforma- 
tories, criminal in- 
sane asylum if 
there are congeni- 
tal tendencies. 
Penal colony and 
deportation in 
cases of recidiva- 



Exile from native 
place and from the 
town in which the 
victim ' s family li ve . 
Exile, segregation 
for an indefinite 
period in some 
remote town or 
Compensation for 
injury caused, 
fines, reprimand, 
security, condi- 
tional liberty. 
Reprimand, secur- 
ity, imprisonment 
for a definite 

III. Criminals Devoid of a Sense of Honesty 





Homicide pro- 


voked by injury or 
genuine grievances 



Homicide in self- 



Homicide to avenge 
some wrong or per- 
sonal dishonour 



Assault in quarrels. 


or ill-treatment 
when intoxicated, 
blows, insults, or 



Mutiny and revolt 


Offender Crime 

Adults (habitual Theft, fraud, arson, 

offenders) convic- forgery, blackmail 
ted of 

Adults (occasional Theft fraud, £or- 
offenders) convic- gery, blackmail, 
ted of arson 

Adults convicted Peculation, con- 
of cussion 

Adults convicted Arson, malicious 
of damage to pro- 


Criminal lunatic 
asylums (if insane 
or epileptic) , de- 
portation (for sane 
offenders) . 
conditional liberty, 
exclusion from 
particular profes- 

Loss of office, ex- 
clusion from all 
public offices, fines, 
compensation for 
damage done. 
Compensation, or 
as a substitute, 
Criminal lunatic 
asylums (if insane). 
Penal colonies 
(for recidivists). 



Offender Crime 

Adults convicted Fraudulent bank- 
of ruptcy 







forging cheques, 
public title-deeds, 

Bigamy, substitu- 
tion or suppression 
of child 

Theft, fraud, and 
picking pockets 

Compensation for 
damage caused, 
exclusion from 
business an d 
public offices. 
fines, compensa- 
tion for damage, ex- 
clusion from office. 
Seclusion for an 
indefinite period. 

Magisterial repri- 
mand, probation, 
reformatory, or ag- 
ricultural colony. 

IV. Offenders Lacking in Industry 

Beggars, vaga- 
bonds, loafers 

Agricultural colo- 
ny for country 
offenders, work- 
shop for city of- 

V. Offenders Deficient in Misoneism (Hatred of Change) 

Political, social, and 
religious rebels 

Temporary exile. 


The punishment of offenders and the protection 
of society from the insane are the two chief objects 
of criminal jurisprudence, but criminal anthropolog- 
ists aim at something higher, the utilisation of anti- 


social elements, thus redeeming them completely and 
justifying their existence in the eyes of mankind and 
in the scheme of nature. 

We find, in fact, in nature numerous instances 
of a partnership for mutual benefit between animals 
and plants of very diverse species and tendencies. 
Lichens are a living symbiosis of algae and fungi: 
the pagurus allows the actiniae to settle on his 
dwelling, where they attract his prey and in return 
are housed and conveyed from place to place. 

In imitation of this principle, criminal anthro- 
pologists seek to devise a means of making offenders 
serviceable to civilisation by carefully analysing 
their tendencies and psychology, and fitting them in- 
to some suitable groove in the social scheme, where 
they may be useful to themselves and to others. 
Side by side with depraved instincts, criminals fre- 
quently possess invaluable gifts : an abnormal degree 
of intelligence, great audacity, and love of innovation. 
The wonderful galleries and fortifications cut out in 
the rocks at Gibraltar and Malta by English convicts 
and the complete transformation of parts of Sardinia 
have led criminologists to the conclusion that the 
ancient penalty of enforced labour was more logical, 
useful, and advantageous both for the culprit and 
the community than all modern punishments. The 
Mormons of America and the religious sects perse- 


cuted in Russia by an omnipotent bureaucracy, have 
by their energy transformed uninhabitable regions 
into lands of extraordinary fertility. Still greater 
results might be obtained, if the abnormal tendencies 
of certain individuals were turned into useful chan- 
nels, instead of being pent up until they manifest 
themselves in anti-social acts, and this beneficent 
and lofty task should devolve on teachers and 
protectors of such of the young as show physical 
and psychic anomalies at an early age. 

The colonisation of wild regions and all professions 
(motoring, cycling, acrobatic and circus feats) which 
demand audacity, activity, love of adventure, and 
intense efforts followed by long periods of repose are 
eminently suited to criminals. There are cases on 
record in which young men have actually become 
thieves and even murderers in order to gain sufficient 
means to become comedians or professional cyclists, 
and there is every reason to suppose that these crimes 
would never have been committed had the youths 
been able to obtain the required sums honestly. 
On the other hand, men of bad character, ready to 
develop into criminals, often undergo a complete 
transformation when they find some outlet for their 
intelligence and aptitudes, in becoming pioneers in 
virgin regions or soldiers. War, the original, perpet- 
ual and exclusive occupation of our ancestors, is emi- 


nently suited to the tendencies of criminals. All the 
characteristics of the criminal, impulsiveness, cynic- 
ism, physical and moral insensibility, and invulnera- 
bility are valuable qualities in the soldier in times 
of war, especially when waged against savage and 
barbarous nations, when cunning and ability have 
to be employed against primitive races who laugh at 
the rules and ethics of civilised warfare. 

Amongst brigands, we find a few badly-armed 
individuals performing marvels of valour, and the 
leaders, although ignorant men, manifesting an 
intelligence and tactical skill that puts trained armies 
to shame. Could not the tendencies of criminals be 
used for the good of their country? The qualities 
developed in primitive races by constant warfare 
against the forces of nature are characteristic also 
of criminals. Let those whom nature has destined 
to reproduce impulsive and brutal instincts in a 
civil and industrial age be permitted to employ them 
in defending civilisation with true primitive valour 
against external and internal enemies, against bar- 
barous peoples who would restrict its boundaries, or 
reactionary elements who seek to hinder its progress. 

The Great Redeemer, who in pardoning the 
adulteress, said, "He that is without sin among you, 
let him first cast a stone at her, " and the Prophet 
who foretold the day when the wolf and the lamb 


should dwell together and the lion should eat straw 
like the ox and should " not hurt nor destroy," 
divined perhaps this noble aim. If criminal an- 
thropology is destined to lead mankind to this 
goal, it may well be pardoned all the harsh measures 
it has seen fit to suggest in order to realise the 
supreme end — social safety. 





/^^RIMINAL anthropologists are unanimous in in- 
^^ sisting on the importance of the results to be 
gained from a careful examination of the physical 
and psychic individuality of the offender, with a 
view to establishing the extent of his responsibility, 
the probabilities of recidivation on his part, the cure 
to be prescribed or the punishment to be meted out 
to him; but besides furnishing the magistrate with 
a sound basis for his decisions, the anthropological 
examination will prove of great assistance to pro- 
bation officers, superintendents of orphanages and 
rescue homes and all those who are entrusted with 
the destinies of actual offenders or candidates for 
crime. I have therefore decided to devote this part 
of my summary to a minute demonstration of the 
methods to be employed in these examinations, 
which should be conducted on the one hand with 

the scientific precision that distinguishes clinical 



diagnoses of diseases and on the other with special 
rules deduced from the long experience of criminolog- 
ists in dealing with criminals and the insane, between 
whom there is so much affinity. 

Antecedents and Psychic Individuality 

The examination of a criminal or person of 
criminal tendencies should, if possible, be preceded 
by a careful investigation of his antecedents. Ques- 
tions ' put to relatives and friends often bring 
to light facts relating to his past life, and give an 
idea of the surroundings in which he has grown up 
and the illnesses suffered by him during childhood 
(meningitis, typhus, convulsions, hemicrania, giddi- 
ness, pavor nocturnus, trauma). The prevalence of 
disease in the family (parents, grandparents, uncles, 
cousins, etc.) should be elicited and note taken not 
only of nervous maladies, but of arthritic, tuber- 
culous, pellagrous, and inebriate forms, including a 
tendency to morphiomania. Even goitre should 
not escape notice, since it may indicate cretinism or 
any other form of degeneration. The existence of 
criminality in the family is of still greater importance, 
but it is extremely difficult to obtain any information 
on this head, either from the patient himself or his 
relatives. A certain amount of strategy must be 
used in eliciting facts of this kind, by suddenly ask- 


ing, for instance, whether a certain individual of the 
same name, already deceased or confined in such- 
and-such an asylum or prison, is any relation of the 

Next should be ascertained whether he is single 
or married, and in the latter case, whether his wife 
is still living; also what profession or professions 
he has exercised. In this connection it should be 
observed that although criminals are generally suc- 
cessful in everything they undertake, they are in- 
capable of remaining constant to one thing for any 
length of time. 

Many persons, cooks, tavern-keepers, confection- 
ers, etc., exercise callings that have a deleterious 
effect on the nervous centres and encourage an abuse 
of alcohol; others like bakers, have night work, 
which is equally harmful. Professions which bring 
poor men, servants, secretaries, cashiers, etc., into 
close contact with wealth, are sometimes the cause 
of dishonesty in those who in the absence of special 
temptations, would have remained upright; others 
provide criminaloids with opportunities or instru- 
ments for accomplishing some crime, as in the 
case of locksmiths, blacksmiths, soldiers, doctors, 
lawyers, etc. 

The time of the year and other circumstances 
under which the crime takes place should be elicited, 


and it should be borne in mind that the vintage 
season in countries of Southern Europe and extremes 
of heat and cold are favourable to seizures of an 
epileptic nature. 

When the subject under examination is a recidiv- 
ist, care should be taken to ascertain at what age 
and under what circumstances the initial offence 
was committed. Precocity in crime is a characteris- 
tic of bom criminals, and puberty and senility have 
their peculiar offences, as have the extremes of 
poverty and wealth. 

Intelligence. As we are not dealing with an 
ordinary patient, who is generally only too ready to 
talk about his troubles, but with an individual who 
has been put on his guard by constant cross-examina- 
tion, his suspicions should first of all be allayed by a 
series of general questions on his native place or the 
town in which he is now living, his trade, etc. ' ' Why 
did you leave your native town? Why do you not 
return? Are you married? How many children 
have you?" etc. Then an attempt should be made 
to gain an idea of his intellectual powers by asking 
easy questions: "How many shillings are there in 
a pound? How many hours are there in a day? 
In what year were you married?" etc. 

Affection. The affections should be tested in an 
indirect way. "Is your father a bad man?" or 


''Are your neighbours worthless people? Do they 
treat you with due respect? Has any one a spite 
against you? Are you fond of your parents? Are 
you aware that your brother (or mother) is seriously 
ill?" Questions concerning relatives and friends 
are of special interest, because they enable the ex- 
aminer to ascertain whether they cause the patient 
emotion of any kind, whether he has any real affec- 
tion for those beings to whom normal persons are 
attached, but towards whom born criminals and the 
insane in general do not manifest love. In the 
absence of instruments, we must judge of the feel- 
ings of patients by their answers and the facial 
changes caused by emotion, but medico-legal ex- 
perts naturally prefer a scientific test by means of 
accurate instruments, by which the exact degree of 
emotion is registered. These instruments are the 
plethysmograph and the hydrosphygmograph. 

It is well known that any emotion which causes 
the heart-beats to quicken or become slower makes 
us blush or turn pale, and these vaso-motor pheno- 
mena are entirely beyond our control. If we plunge 
one of our hands into the volumetric tank invented 
by Francis Frank, the level of the liquid registered 
on the tube above will rise and fall at every pulsa- 
tion, and besides these regular fluctuations, varia- 
tions may be observed which correspond to every 



stimulation of the senses, every thought and above 
all, every emotion. The volumetric glove invented 
by Patrizi (see Fig. 2^), an improvement on the 
above-mentioned instrument, is a still more prac- 
tical and convenient apparatus. It consists of a 
large gutta-percha glove, which is put on the hand 
and hermetically sealed at the wrist by a mixture 

of mastic and vaseline. The 
glove is filled with air as the 
tank was with water. The 
greater or smaller pressure ex- 
ercised on the air by the pul- 
sations of blood in the veins 
of the hands reacts on the 
aerial column of an india-rub- 
ber tube, and this in its turn 
on Marey's tympanum (a small 
chamber half metal and half 
gutta-percha). This chamber 
supports a lever carrying an indicator, which rises 
and falls with the greater or slighter flow of blood in 
the hand. This lever registers the oscillations on a 
moving cylinder covered with smoked paper. If 
after talking to the patient on indifferent subjects, 
the examiner suddenly mentions persons, friends, 
or relatives, who interest him and cause him a cer- 
tain amount of emotion, the curve registered on the 

Fig. 28 
Criminal's Ear 





1— t 

















revolving cylinder suddenly drops and rises rapidly, 
thus proving that he possesses natural affections. 
If, on the other hand, when alluding to relatives and 
their illnesses, or vice- versa, no corresponding move- 
ment is registered on the cylinder, it may be assumed 
that the patient does not possess much affection. 

Thus when Bianchi and Patrizi spoke to the 
notorious brigand Musolino about life in his native 
woods, his mother, and his sweetheart, there was 
an immediate alteration in the pulse, and the line 
registered by the plethysmograph suddenly changed, 
nor did it return to its previous level until some time 

My father sometimes made successful use of the 
plethysmograph to discover whether an accused 
person was guilty of the crime imputed to him, by 
mentioning it suddenly while his hands were in the 
plethysmograph or placing the photograph of the 
victim unexpectedly before his eyes. 

Morbid Phenomena. When examining a crim- 
inal or even a suspected person, who is nearly always 
more or less abnormal, it is advisable to investigate 
the more common morbid phenomena he may be 
subject to, on which he is not likely to give infor- 
mation spontaneously because he is ignorant of 
their importance. He should be questioned about 
his sleep, whether he has dreams, etc. Mental 


sufferers nearly always sleep badly and are fre- 
quently tormented by insomnia and hallucinations. 
The inebriate imagines he is being pursued by 
disgusting, misshapen creatures, from which he can- 
not escape. Epileptics, and frequently also hysteri- 
cal persons have peculiar obsessions. They fancy 
they cannot perform certain actions unless they are 
preceded by certain words and gestures. 

The susceptibility of the patient to suggestion 
should also be tested, to determine what value can 
be attached to his assertions. Sufferers from hys- 
teria and general paralysis are like children, highly 
susceptible to suggestion, not necessarily of an 
hypnotic nature. If you tell an hysterical person 
with conviction that he suffers pain in a certain part 
of his body, is feverish or pale or something of the 
sort, he will inform you spontaneously after a few 
minutes that he feels pain or fever, etc. After a 
crime of a startling nature has been committed by 
some unknown person, it not unfrequently happens 
that some hysterical subject, generally a youth, who 
imagines he has been accused of the crime by the 
neighbours or his acquaintances, becomes convinced 
that he is really guilty and gives himself up to the 

Speech. Special attention should be directed dur- 
ing the examination to the way in which the 


patient replies to questions and his mode of pro- 
nunciation. There may be peculiarities of pro- 
nunciation and stammering, characteristic of certain 
forms of mental alienation, or at any rate of some 
nervous anomaly; or articulation may be tremulous 
and forced, as in precocious dementia and chronic 
inebriety. In other cases the words are jumbled 
and confused, especially if long and difficult. In 
the first stages of progressive paralysis the letter r 
is not pronounced. To test this anomaly, which is 
of great importance in the diagnosis, the patient 
should be requested to pronounce difficult words, 
such as, corroborate, reread, rewrite, etc. 

In order not to lose such valuable indications, 
in cases where personal examination is impossible, 
phonograph impressions of conversations between 
the patient and some third person will serve as 
a substitute. 

The inquiry may reveal still more serious anoma- 
lies in the ideas, intelligence, and mental condition 
of the patient. Sometimes the answers given are 
sensible but are followed by nonsense. Other 
patients, especially when afflicted with melancholia, 
speak unwillingly, as if the words were forced 
from them, one by one. Idiots, cretins, and de- 
mented persons are sometimes incapable of express- 
ing themselves. Some patients who have had 


apoplectic strokes substitute one word for another, 
"bread" for "wine," etc., or elide one part of the 
sentence and only repeat the last word. ^ 

Memory. To form an idea of the memory of 
the subject, questions should be put to him con- 
cerning recent and remote personal facts and cir- 
cumstances, the year in which he or his children 
were born, what he had for his supper on the pre- 
vious evening, etc., etc. 

Visual memory may be tested by giving the 
patient a sheet of paper, on which are drawn various 
common objects, letters, or easy words. He should 
be allowed to look at these for five or ten seconds 
and requested to enumerate them after the paper 
has been withdrawn. In order to test the memory 
of sounds, the examiner should utter five or six 
easy words and ask the patient to repeat them im- 
mediately afterwards. 

To test sense of colour, a picture on which various 
colours are painted is placed before the patient, as 
well as a skein of wool of the same shade as one of 
the colours in the picture, which he is requested to 
point out. 

Handwriting is very important, particularly in 
distinguising a born criminal from a lunatic, and 
between the various kinds of mental alienation. 

Monomaniacs and mattoids (cranks) who give 


the police the most trouble often speak in a per- 
fectly sane manner, but pour out all their insanity 
on paper, without an examination of which it is not 
easy to detect mental derangement. They write 
with rapidity and at great length. Their pockets, 
bags, etc., are always full of sheets of paper covered 
with small handwriting, sometimes scribbled in all 
directions. The matter is generally absurd or 
simply stupid, consisting of endless repetitions. 

Individuals in the first stage of paralysis make 
orthographical errors, which coincide with their 
mistakes in pronunciation, like Garigaldi, instead of 
Garibaldi. Care must be taken to test this defect 
thoroughly. If the patient is fairly well-educated, 
his signature, which is the last to alter, is not suffi- 
cient; nor are a few lines a satisfactory test, since he 
can easily concentrate his attention on them, but 
he should be requested to write a page or two and 
be exhorted to make haste. 

Alcoholism and paralysis generally give rise to 
tremulous handwriting with unsteady strokes, as in 
old people. After epileptic seizures and attacks of 
hysteria the writing is shaky. The slightest trem- 
bling of the hand is detected if Edison's electric 
pen be used. 

In progressive general paralysis and some forms 
of dementia shakiness is so excessive that it becomes 


dysgraphy, with zigzag letters. The handwriting of 
persons subject to apoplectic strokes has often the 
appearance of copper-plate. Monomaniacs inter- 
sperse their writings with illustrations and sym- 
bols. They write very closely in imitation of 
print, as do mattoids, hysterical persons, and megalo- 
maniacs, and use many notes of exclamation and 
capital letters. Their writings are full of badly - 
spelled words, scrolls, and flourishes. 

Criminals guilty of sanguinary offences gener- 
ally have a clumsy but energetic handwriting and 
cross their t's with dashing strokes. The hand- 
writing of thieves can scarcely be distinguished 
from that of ordinary persons, but the hand- 
writing of swindlers is easier to recognise, as it 
generally lacks clearness although it preserves a 
certain uniformity. The signature is usually in- 
decipherable and enveloped in an infinite number 
of arabesques. 

Clothing. The manner in which a patient is dressed 
often gives an exact indication of his individ- 
uality. Members of those secret organizations of 
Naples and Sicily, the Camorra and Mafia, 
are fond of dressing in a loud manner with an 
abundance of jewelry. Murderers, epileptics, and 
the morally insane, who lead isolated lives, attach 
no importance to dress and are frequently dirty and 


shabby. (See Fig. 26, A. D., a morally insane 
epileptic, the perpetrator of three murders.) Swin- 
dlers are always dressed in faultless style, the cin- 
£edus is fond of giving his costume a feminine 
air, and monomaniacs trick themselves out with 
ribbons, decorations, and medals: their clothes are 
generally of a strange cut. The cretin and the idiot 
go about with their clothes torn and in disorder and 
not infrequently emit a strong odour of ammonia. 

Physical Examination 

Having carefully investigated the past history 
of the subject and made a minute study of his ab- 
normal psychic phenomena, the expert should pro- 
ceed to the examination of his physical characters. 

Chapter I of Part I contains a detailed description 
of the principal physiognomical anomalies of the 
criminal that may be discerned by the naked eye. 
They will now be briefly recapitulated. 

Skin. The skin frequently shows scars and (in 
the epileptic subject to seizures) lesions on the elbows 
and temples. Marks of wounds inflicted in quar- 
rels and attempted suicide are frequent in habitual 
criminals. The forehead and nose must be examined 
for traces of acne rosacea frequent in drunkards, and 
for erythema on the back of the hands, character- 
istic of pellagra. Ichthyosis, psoriasis, or other skin 


diseases are very common in cases of mental aliena- 
tion, and scurvy often indicates long seclusion in 

Tattooing. Great care must be taken to ascer- 
tain whether the subject is tattooed, and if so, on 
what parts of his body. Tattooing often reveals 
obscenity, vindictiveness, cupidity, and other char- 
acteristics of the patient, besides furnishing his name 
or initials, that of his native town or village, and the 
symbol of the trade he refuses to reveal (sometimes 
such indications have been blurred or effaced). 
(See Fig. 2^.) 

One of the chief proofs showing the untruthful- 
ness of the statements made by the Tichborne 
claimant was the fact that his person was devoid 
of tattooing, whereas it was well known that Roger 
Tichborne had been tattooed. 

Tattooing often reveals the psychology, habits, 
and vices of the individual. The tattooing on ped- 
erasts usually consists of portraits of those with whom 
they have unnatural commerce, or phrases of an 
affectionate nature addressed to them. A pederast 
and forger examined by Professor Filippi was 
tattooed on his forearm with a sentimental declara- 
tion addressed to the object of his unnatural de- 
sires; a criminal convicted of rape was covered with 
pictorial representations of his obscene adventures. 


From these few instances, it is apparent that these 
personal decorations are of the utmost value as 
evidence of hidden vices and crimes. 

Wrinkles. We have already spoken of the 
abundance and precocity of wrinkles in born crim- 
inals. They are also a characteristic of the insane. 

The following are of special importance: the 
vertical and horizontal lines on the forehead, the 
oblique and triangular lines of the brows, the hori- 
zontal or circumflex lines at the root of the nose 
and the vertical and horizontal lines on the neck. 
(The ferocious leader of a band of criminals at 
twenty-five, and a savage murderer under thirty 
years of age.) 

Beard. The beard is scanty in born criminals 
and often altogether absent in epileptics. On the 
other hand, it is common in insane females and 
in normal women after the menopause. Degen- 
erates of both sexes frequently manifest character- 
istics of the opposite sex in the distribution of hair 
on the body. A tuft of hair in the sacro-lumbar 
region, suggestive of the tail of the mythological 
faun, is frequently found in epileptics and idiots, 
and in some cases the back and breast are covered 
with thick down which makes them resemble 

The hair covering the head is generally thick and 


dark, the growth is often abnormal with square or 
triangular zones growing in a different direction 
from the rest, or in small tufts like those inserted in a 
brush. Still more frequently do we find anomalies 
in the position of the vortex, or that point whence the 
hair-growth diverges circularly, which in normal 
persons is nearly always situated on the crown. In 
degenerates it is frequently on one side of the head 
and in cretins on the forehead. Precocious grey- 
ness and baldness are common in the insane crim- 
inals, and cretins, on the contrary, show these initial 
signs of senility at a much later period than normal 

Teeth. The greatest percentage of anomalies is 
found in the incisors; next come the premolars, 
the molars, and lastly the canines. In criminals, 
especially if epileptics, the middle incisors of the 
upper jaw are sometimes missing and their absence 
is compensated by the excessive development of the 
lateral incisors. In other cases the lateral incisors 
are of the same size as the middle ones, and sometimes 
the teeth are so nearly uniform that it is difficult to 
distinguish between incisors, canines, and molars, a 
circumstance which recalls the homodontism of 
the lower vertebrates. After the incisors, the pre- 
molars show the greatest number of anomalies. 
While in normal persons they are smaller than the 


molars, in degenerates they are frequently of the 
same size or even larger. Supernumerary teeth, 
amounting sometimes to a double row, are not un- 
common. In other cases there is extraordinary 
development of the canines. Inherited degeneracy 
from inebriate, syphilitic, or tuberculous parents 
frequently manifests itself in rickety teeth with 
longitudinal and transverse strice or serration of the 
edges, due to irregularities in the formation of the 
enamel. In idiots and epileptics, dentition is often 
backward and stunted; the milk-teeth are not re- 
placed by others, or are almond-shaped and other- 
wise of abnormal aspect. 

Ears, The ears of criminals and epileptics ex- 
hibit a number of anomalies. They are sometimes 
of abnormal size or stand out from the face. Dar- 
win's tubercle, which is like a point turned foi-ward 
when the helix folds over, and turned backward 
when the helix is fiat, is frequently encountered in 
the ears of degenerates. The lobe is subject to a 
great many anomalies, sometimes it is absent al- 
together, in some cases it adheres to the face or is of 
huge dimensions and square in shape. Sometimes 
the helix is prolonged so as to divide the concha in 
two. Idiots often show excessive development of 
the anti-helix, while the helix itself is reduced to a 
flattened strip. 


Eyes. The eyebrows are generally bushy in 
murderers and violators of women. Ptosis, a species 
of paralysis of the upper lid, which gives the eye a 
half -closed appearance, is common in all criminals; 
but more frequently we find strabismus, a want of 
parallelism in the visual axes, bichromatism of the 
iris, and rigidity of the pupils. 

Nose. In thieves the base of the nose often slants 
upwards, and this characteristic of rogues is so 
common in Italy that it has given rise to a number 
of proverbs. The nose is often twisted in epileptics, 
flattened and trilobate in cretins. 

Jaws. Enormous maxillary development is one 
of the most frequent anomalies in criminals and is 
related to the greater size of the zygomse and teeth. 
(See Fig. 27.) The lemurian apophysis already 
alluded to is not uncommon. 

Chin. This part of the face, which in Europeans 
is generally prominent, round and proportioned to 
the size of the face, in degenerates as in apes is 
frequently receding, flat, too long or too short. 

These anomalies may be studied rapidly with the na- 
ked eye, but height, weight, the proportions of the va- 
rious parts of the body, shape of the skull, etc., should 
be measured with the aid of special instruments. 

Height. Criminals are rarely tall. Like all de- 
generates, they are under medium height. Im- 

Fig. 27 

Anton Otto Krauser 


(see page 236) 



beciles and idiots are remarkably undersized. The 
span of the arms, which in normal persons about 
equals the height, is often disproportionately wide 
in criminals. The hands are either exaggeratedly 
large or exaggeratedly small. 

The height of a patient must be compared with 
the mean height of his 
fellow-countrymen, or, 
to be more exact, of 
those inhabitants of his 
native province or dis- 
trict who are, needless 
to say, of the same age 
and social condition. 
The average height of a 
male Italian of twenty 
is 5 feet 4 inches (1.624 
m.), that of a female 
of the same age, 5 feet 
(1.525 m.). The dis- 
tances from the sole of 
the foot to the navel 
and from the navel to the top of the head are in 
ratio of 60 to 40, if the total height be taken as 100. 

These measurements may be effected very rap- 
idly by using the tachyanthropometer invented 
by Anfossi (see Fig. 29). It consists of a vertical 

Fig. 29 




column against which the subject under examina- 
tion places his shoulders, a horizontal bar adjustable 
vertically until it rests on the shoulders, and can be 
used at the same time for ascertaining the length of 

the arms and middle 
finger: a graduated slid- 
ing scale in the vertical 
column for rapid mea- 
surements of the other 
parts of the body and 
a couple of scales at the 
base for measuring the 

Weight. In proportion 
to their height, criminals 
generally weigh less than 
normal individuals, 
whose weight in kilo- 
grammes is given by 
the decimal figures of 
his height as expressed 
in metres and centi- 

Head. The head, or rather the skull, the shape 
of which is influenced by the cerebral mass it con- 
tains, is rarely free from anomalies, and for this 
reason the careful examination of this part is of the 

Fig. 30 
Craniograph Anfossi 



utmost importance. We have no means of studying 
subtle cranial alterations in the living subject, but 
we can ascertain the form and capacity of his skull. 
This is rendered easy and rapid by means of a very 
convenient craniograph invented by Anfossi (see 
Fig. 30), which traces 
the cranial profile 
on a piece of spe- 
cially prepared card- 

In the absence of a 
craniometer, measure- 
ments may be taken 
with calipers, the arms 
of which are curved 
like the ordinary pel- 
vimeters used in ob- 
stetrics (see Fig. 31), 
and a graduated steel 

The following are the principal measurements : 
I. Maximum antero-posterior diameter, which is 
obtained by applying one arm of the instrument above 
the root of the nose just between the eyebrows and 
sliding the other arm over the vault of the skull till 
it reaches the occiput. The distance between the two 
arms furnishes the maximum longitudinal diameter. 

Fig. 31 



2. The maximum transverse diameter or breadth 
of the skull is measured by placing the arms of the 
calipers, one on each side of the head on the most 
prominent spot. 

3. The antero-posterior curve is obtained by 
fixing the graduated tape at zero on the root 
of the nose (on the fronto-nasal suture) and 
passing it over the middle of the forehead, ver- 
tex, and occiput to the external occipital protu- 

4. The transverse, or biauricular curve is ob- 
tained by applying the steel tape at zero to a point 
just above the ear, and carrying it over the head 
in a vertical direction till it reaches the correspond- 
ing point on the other side. 

5. The maximum circumference is obtained by 
encircling the head with the steel tape, touch- 
ing the forehead immediately above the eyebrows, 
the occiput at the most prominent point, and the 
sides of the head more or less at the level, where 
the external ear joins the head, according to whether 
the position of the occipital protuberance is more 
or less elevated. (See Figs. 32, 33.) 

6. The cranial capacity is obtained by adding 
together these five measurements, the antero-pos- 
terior diameter, maximum transverse diameter, 
antero-posterior curve, transverse curve, and maxi- 



mum circumference. For a normal male the ca- 
pacity is generally 92 inches (1500 c.c). 

7. The cephalic index is obtained by multiply- 
ing the maximum width by 100 and dividing the 


Fig. 32 

Diagram of Skull 

product by the maximum length, according to the 
following formula: 

W X 100 

=X (cephalic index). 

If the longitudinal diameter is 200 and the 
transverse diameter 100, the cephalic index is 10,000 
divided by 200 = 50. 

The cephalic indices of degenerates, like their 
height, have only a relative importance; that is, when 
they are compared with the mean cephalic index 



prevalent in the regions of which the subject is a 
native. The cephalic index of Italians varies be- 
tween 77.5 (Sardinians) and 85.9 (Piedmontese) . 

Skulls are classified according to the cephalic 
index, in the following manner: 

















We shall find among criminals frequent instances 
of microcephaly, macrocephaly, and asymmetry, one 
side of the head being larger than the other. Some- 
times the skull is pointed in the bregmatic region 
(hypsicephaly), sometimes it is narrow in the frontal 
region in correlation to the insertion of the temporal 
muscles and the excessive development of the zygo- 
matic arches (stenocrotaphy, see Fig. 5, Part I., 
Chapter I.), or depression of the bregmatic region 
(cymbocephaly) . 

Face. We have already remarked on the exces- 
sive size of the face compared with the brain -case, 
owing chiefly to the high cheek-bones, which are 
one of the most salient characteristics of criminals, 


and to the enormous development of the jaws, which 
gives them the appearance of ferocious animals (see 
Fig. 5). To these peculiarities may be added pro- 
geneismus, the projection of the lower jaw beyond 
the upper, a characteristic found only in 10% of 
normal persons, receding forehead as in apes, and the 
lemurian apophysis already mentioned. 

Arms and Hands. With the exception of the ex- 
cessive length as compared with the stature, anoma- 
lies in the arms are rare, but the hands show some 
interesting characteristics, which have already been 
described in the first chapter of Part I, an increase or 
decrease in the number of fingers and syndactylism 
or palmate fingers. Also the lines in the palm and 
those on the palmar surfaces of the finger-tips 
show deviations from the normal type resembling 
characteristics of apes. 

Feet. Degenerates and more especially epilep- 
tics, frequently have flat or prehensile feet and an 
elongated big-toe with which, like the Japanese, 
they are able to grasp objects. 

All these anomalies vary in number and degree 
according to whether the subject examined is a 
born criminal or a criminaloid, and according, also, 
to the special type of crime to which he is ad- 
dicted. Thieves commonly show great mobility of 
the face and hands. Their eyes are small, shifty and 


obliquely placed, and glance rapidly from one ob- 
ject to another. The eyebrows are bushy and close 
together, the nose twisted or flattened, beard scanty, 
hair not particularly abundant, forehead small and 
receding, and the ears standing out from the head. 
Projecting ears are common also to sexual offenders, 
who have glittering eyes, delicate physiognomy ex- 
cepting the jaws, which are strongly developed, 
thick lips, swollen eyelids, abundant hair, and hoarse 
voices. They are often slight in build and hump- 
backed, sometimes half impotent and half insane, 
with malformation of the nose and reproductive 
organs. They frequently suffer from hernia and 
goitre and commit their first offences at an advanced 

The cinaedus is distinguished by his feminine 
air. He wears his hair long and plaited, and even in 
prison his clothing seems to retain its feminine 
aspect. The genitals are frequently atrophied, the 
skin glabrous, and gynecomastia not uncommon. 

The eyes of murderers are cold, glassy, im- 
movable, and bloodshot, the nose aquiline, and al- 
ways voluminous, the hair curly, abundant, and 
black. Strong jaws, long ears, broad cheek-bones, 
scanty beard, strongly developed canines, thin 
lips, frequent nystagmus and contractions on one 
side of the face, which bare the canines in a kind 



of menacing grin, are other characteristics of the 

Forgers and swindlers wear a singular, stereo- 
typed expression of amiability on their pale faces, 
which appear incapable of blushing and assume only 
a more pallid hue under the stress of any emotion. 
They have small eyes, twisted and large noses. 

Fig. 34 


become bald and grey-haired at an early age, and 
often possess faces of a feminine cast. 


This external inspection of the criminal should be 
followed by a minute examination of his senses and 

General Sensibility and Sensibility to Touch and 
Pain. Tactile sensibility should be measured by 
Weber's esthesiometer, which consists of two pointed 
legs, one of which is fixed at the end of a 
scale graduated in millimetres, along which the 
other slides (see Fig. 34). After separating the two 


points three or four millimetres, they are placed 
on the finger-tips of the patient, who closes his 
eyes and is asked to state whether he feels two 
points or one. Normal individuals feel the points 
as two when they are only 2 mm. or 2.5 mm. 
apart; when, however, tactile sensibility is obtuse 
(as in most criminals) the points must be separated 
from 3 to 4.5 mm. or even more, before they are 
felt as two. Obtuseness varies with the type of 
crime committed habitually by the subject; in bur- 
glars, swindlers, and assaulters, being approximately 
double, while in violators, murderers, and incen- 
diaries it stands in the ratio of 5 to i compared 
with normal persons. 

In the absence of an esthesiometer, a rough cal- 
culation may be made by using an ordinary drawing 
compass or even a hairpin, separating the two 
points and measuring with the eye the distance at 
which they are felt to be separate. 

General Sensibility and Sensibility to Pain are 
measured by a common electric apparatus (Du Bois- 
Reymond), adapted by Lombroso for use as an 
algometer. (See Fig. 35.) It consists of an induc- 
tion coil, put into action by a bichromate battery. 
The poles of the secondary coil are placed in contact 
with the back of the patient's hand and brought 
slowly up behind the index finger, when the strength 


of the induced current is increased until the patient 
feels a prickling sensation in the skin (general sensi- 
bility) and subsequently a sharp pain (sensibility to 
pain) . The general sensibility of normal individuals 
is 40 and the sensibility to pain, 10-25: the sensibil- 
ity of the criminal is much less acute and sometimes 

Sensibility to Pressure. Various metal cubes of 
equal size but different weight, are placed two by 
two, one on each side, on different parts of the back 
of the hand. The patient is then asked to state 
which of any two weights is the lighter or heavier. 
This sense is fairly acute in criminals. 

Sensibility to Heat. Experiments are made by 
placing on the skin of the patient various receptacles 
filled with water at different temperatures. If great 
exactitude is desirable, Nothnagel's thermo-esthesio- 
meter should be used. This is an instrument very 
similar to Weber's esthesiometer, but the points are 
replaced by receptacles filled with water of varying 
heat and furnished with thermometers. The patient 
must state which is the colder, and which the hotter 
spot. Sensibility to heat is less acute in criminals 
than in normal individuals. 

Localisation of Sensibility. After the patient has 
been requested to close his eyes, various parts of his 
body are touched with the finger and he is asked to 


point out the exact spot touched. Should he not be 
able to reach it with. his finger, a statuette should be 
placed before him on which he should mark with a 
pencil the part touched. Normal persons are always 
able to localise the sensation exactly: inability to 
do so signifies disease of the brain or some kind of 

Sensibility to Metals is tested by placing discs of 
different metals, copper, zinc, lead, and gold, or the 
poles of a magnet, on the frontal and occipital parts 
of the patient's head. Sometimes he feels pricking 
or heat, giddiness, somnolence, or a sense of bodily 
well-being. In general, criminals show great sensi- 
bility to metals ; in hysterical persons this sensibility 
reaches an extraordinary degree of acuteness. By 
applying a magnet to the nape of the neck, the sen- 
sations of such individuals become polarised, that is, 
what appeared white to them before becomes black ; 
bitter, what was formerly sweet, or vice versa. This 
is an excellent way of distinguishing between bona- 
fide cases of hysteria and sham ones. My father once 
detected simulation in a soi-disant hysterical patient 
by means of a piece of wood shaped and coloured to 
represent a magnet. On application of either mag- 
net, the real or sham one, the patient's sensations 
were identical, whereas hysterical persons experience 
very diverse sensations and are able to distinguish 


very sharply between the contact, not only of wood 
and metal, but of the different kinds of metal, and 
are particularly sensitive to the magnet. 

Sight — Acuteness of Vision — Chromatic Sensibility 
— Field of Vision. Visual acuteness is tested by 
holding letters of a specified size at a certain distance. 
Sight is generally more acute in criminals than in 
normal persons; not so, chromatic sensibility, which 
is tested by giving the patient a number of skeins 
of different coloured silks, and requesting him to 
arrange them in series. Persons afflicted with dys- 
chromatopsia confuse the different colours and the 
different shades of the same colour. Colour-blind 
people confuse black and red. 

Especially important is the examination of the 
field of vision, as the seat of one of the most serious 
anomalies discovered by the Modern School, the 
presence of peripheral scotoma, frequently found in 
epileptics and born criminals. To test this anomaly, 
use should be made of Landolt's apparatus (Fig. 36). 
This consists of a semicircular band, which can re- 
volve aroimd a column. The patient rests his chin on 
a support placed in front of the semicircle in such a 
manner that the eye imder examination is exactly 
in the centre, and looks directly at the middle point 
of the semicircle, corresponding to o in the scale: 
the testing object, a small ball, is passed backwards 



or forwards along the semicircle. A graduated scale, 
placed on the semicircle, marks the point limiting 
the field of vision, and the result is registered on a 
diagram. The average limit of the normal field of 
vision is 90 mm. on the temporal side, 55 mm. on the 
nasal side, 55 mm. above and 60 mm. below (see 


_. bianco, i^_»?2eu, ^mnm^rosto, —perdt. 

Fig. 37 
Diagram Showing Normal Vision 

Fig. 42). If a suitable instrument is not available, a 
series of concentric circles may be traced on a slate 
and the patient placed at a certain distance with one 
eye covered. The examiner then touches the dif- 
ferent points of the circles with his hand and asks 
the patient whether he can see it when his eye is 


fixed on the central point. In this way the various 
points Hmiting the field of vision are noted and 
furnish, when united, the boundary line. 

Hearing is generally less acute in the criminal 
than in the normal individual, but does not show 
special anomalies. It may be tested by speaking 
in a low voice at a certain distance from the patient, 
or by holding an ordinary watch a little way from 
his ear. 

Smell. Olfactory acuteness is tested by solutions 
of essences of varying strength, which the patient 
should be requested to place in order, indicating the 
one in which he first detects an odour. Ottolenghi has 
invented a graduated osmometer which is easy to use. 
The criminal generally shows olfactory obtuseness. 

Taste is tested in the same way as smell, by vary- 
ing solutions of saccharine or strychnine dropped on 
to the patient's tongue by means of a special medi- 
cine dropper. The mouth should be rinsed out each 
time. Normal persons taste the bitterness of sul- 
phate of strychnine in a solution 1:600,000; the 
sweetness of saccharine in a solution i : 100,000. The 
sense of taste is less acute in criminaloids than in 
normal persons, and is specially obtuse in born 
criminals, 33% of whom show complete obtuseness. 

Movements. Normal individuals in a state of 
repose remain almost motionless, and their gestures 


are always appropriate. Lunatics and imbeciles 
have a habit of speaking and gesticulating even 
when they are not interrogated. Nervous diseases 
manifest themselves in facial contortions or slight 
spasmodic contractions. In melancholia and all 
forms of depression, the patient does not gesticulate 
but remains immovable like a statue with his eyes 
cast down. Degenerates manifest a fairly varied 
series of involuntary motions, — twitchings of the 
muscles, as in chorea, tonic and clonic convulsions 
and tremors. In senility, chorea, and Parkinson's 
disease, the tremors are incessant and continue even 
when the body is in a state of repose; in sclerosis, 
goitre, and chronic inebriety they accompany vol- 
untary movements, and in this case they are easily 
detected by making the patient lift the tip of his 
finger to his nose or a filled glass to his lips. The 
nearer the hand approaches its goal, the more intense 
the oscillations become. Above all, the examiner 
should not fail to ask the patient to put out his 
tongue. If it protrudes on one side, it is a sign of a 
serious nervous alteration and nearly always denotes 
the beginning or remains of paralysis, or partial 
apoplectic strokes. 

Muscular Strength is measured by a common 
dynamometer (Fig. 38), which the patient is 
requested to grasp with all his might. Compressive 


strength is tested by compressing the oval. In 
order to test tractive strength, the dynamometer is 
fastened to a nail at the point C, and the patient 
pulls with all his strength at D. The effort is 
registered on a graduated scale and is of importance 
for detecting left-handedness and measuring the 


Fig. 38 


extraordinary force that is displayed in certain states 
of excitement. 

Reflex Action consists of movements and con- 
tractions produced by an impression exciting the 
nerves of the cutis (cutaneous reflex) or tendons 
(tendinous reflex). 

Cutaneous Reflex Movements may be tested by 
placing the patient in a recumbent position and 
stroking methodically certain parts of the body, the 
sole of the foot (plantar reflex), the under side of 
the knee-joint (popliteal reflex), the abdominal wall 


(abdominal reflex). Certain reflex movements are 
of special importance: the cremasteric reflex, on 
the inner side of the thigh (obtuse in old people and 
individuals addicted to onanism), the reflex action 
of the mucous membrane covering the cornea (sus- 
pended during stupor, coma, and epileptic convul- 
sions), and the pharyngeal reflex along the isthmus 
of the fauces (absent in hysterical persons). 

The dilatation and contraction of the pupil in 
accommodation to the distance of the object viewed 
or in response to light stimuli is imdoubtedly the 
most important cutaneous reflex movement. It 
may be tested by requesting the patient to look at a 
distant object and immediately afterwards at the 
examiner's flnger, placed close to his eye, or bringing 
him suddenly from semi-darkness into the light. 
If the pupil reacts very slightly to the light, it is 
called torpid: if it does not react at all, it is called 
rigid. Rigidity of the pupil always denotes some 
serious nervous disturbance. In certain diseases, 
especially tabes, the pupils do not respond to light 
stimuli, but accommodate themselves to objects. 

Tendinous Reflex Action may be tested in every 
part of the body, but the rotular reflex movement is 
generally sufficient. The patient is asked to sit on 
the edge of the bed or on a chair with his legs crossed. 
If he is healthy, the reflex movement is fairly strong, 

Fig. 39 

Head of an Italian Criminal 


but in some illnesses spastic movements may be 
provoked and extend to the abdomen (exaggerated 
reflex action) ; in others no reflex is forthcoming. 
This is one of the flrst symptoms of tabes. 

Urine and Feces. As the functions are anoma- 
lous, the chemical changes must also be anomalous, 
owing to the correlation of organs. In born criminals 
there is a diminished excretion of nitrogen, whereas 
that of chlorides is normal. The elimination of 
phosphoric acid is increased, especially when com- 
pared with the nitrogen excreted. Pepton is some- 
times found in the excretions of paral3rtic persons in 
whom there is always an increased elimination of 
phosphates and calcium carbonate. 

The temperature is generally higher than in 
normal persons, and, more important still, varies less 
in febrile illnesses. 

For the reader's convenience, I have drawn up a 
list of the different points that should be noted in a 
careful examination. 

Table showing the Anthropological Examination of Insane 
and Criminal Patients {drawn up by Tamburini, Strassmann, 
Benelli, and Mario Carrara). 

A — A namnesis. Name — surname — nationality — domicile — 

profession — age — education. 
Economic and hygienic conditions of native place. 
Family circumstances — pre-natal conditions — infancy — 



Causes to which decease of parents may be attributed. 
Cases of insanity — neurosis — imbecility — perversity — 

suicide — crime — or eccentricity in the family. 
Progressive diseases or trauma in the subject. 
Offence and causes thereof. 
B — Physique. Skeletal development— height — span of the arms. 
C — Physical Examination. Muscular development. 
Colour of hair and eyes. 
Quantity and distribution of hair. 

Craniometry : Antero - posterior diameter — transverse 
diameter — antero -posterior curve — transverse curve 
' — cephalic index — type and anomalies of the skull — 
circumference — probable capacity — semi- circumfer- 
ence (anterior, posterior) — forehead — face, length, 
diameter (bizygomatic and bigoniac) — facial type — 
facial index — anomalies of conformation and de- 
velopment in the skull, in the face, in the ears, in 
the teeth, in other parts. 
D — Functions. 

E — Animal Life. Sensibility: meteoric — tactile — thermal — 
dolorific and musctdar — visual — auditory — of the other 
Motivity: Sensory left-handedness — motory left-hand- 
edness — voluntary and involuntary movements — 
reflex action (tendinous or muscular, abnormal, 
chorea) . 
F — Vegetative Life. Muscular strength. 
Thermo-genesis . 
Digestion : Rumination — bulimy — vomiting — dyspepsia 

— constipation — diarrhoea . 
Secretions : Milk — saliva — perspiration — urine — men- 
Dyscrasia: poisoning. 


G — Psychic Examination. Language — writing — slang. 

Attention — perception. 

Memory (textual) — reason. 

Dreams — excitability — passions . 

Sentiments : Affection — morality — religion. 

Instincts and tendencies. 

Moral character — ^industry. 

Physiognomical expression. 

Education — aptitudes. 
H — Morbid Phenomena. Illusions — hallucinations — delu- 
sions — susceptibility to suggestion. 
I — Offences. 

Cause of first offence: Environment — occasion — sponta- 
neous or premeditated — drunkenness. 

Conduct after the offence: Repentance — recidivation. 



T^HE cases described in this chapter show the neces- 
sity of being able to estimate correctly accusa- 
tions made against insane persons by criminals or 
normal individuals. Since, moreover, criminals are 
prone to sham insanity in order to avoid punishment, 
I sum up the characteristics that distinguish the 
various types of criminals. With regard to insane 
criminals, it must be remembered that every form of 
mental alienation assumes a specific criminality. 

The idiot is addicted to bursts of rage, savage 
assaults, and homicide. His unbridled sexual appe- 
tite prompts him to commit rape. He is sometimes 
guilty of arson in order to gratify a childish pleasure 

at the sight of the flames. 



The imbecile or weak-minded egotist is a fre- 
quent though unnecessary accompHce in nearly 
every crime, owing to his susceptibility to suggestion 
and incapability of understanding the gravity of his 

Melancholia is often the cause of suicide or 
homicide (as a species of indirect suicide). The 
sufferer generally confesses and gives himself up to 
the police. Delusions that he is being poisoned or 
insulted are often the cause of the murders com- 
mitted by this type of lunatic. 

Maniacs commit robbery, rape, homicide, and 
arson, and behave indecently in public. 

Stealing is common among those afflicted with 
general paralysis, who believe ever3rthing they see 
belongs to them, or do not understand the meaning 
of property. 

Dementia causes general cerebral irritation, which 
frequently results in murder and violence. 

Hysterical persons invent slanders, especially of 
an erotic nature. They are given to sexual aberra- 
tions and delight in fraud and extravagant actions 
to make themselves notorious. 

Persons subject to a mania for litigation offend 
statesmen and others. 

Epileptics, of whom bom criminals and the mor- 
ally insane are the most dangerous variety, are 


familiar with the whole scale of criminality. Their 
special offences are assault and battery, rape, theft, 
and forgery. The first offences are committed in- 
termittingly at the prompting of attacks of cortical 
irritation, the last two almost continuously owing 
to a state of constant irritation. 

To distinguish between genuine insanity and simu- 
lation, it must be remembered that exaggeration 
of the symptoms is one of the chief characteristics of 
shamming. The simulator exaggerates the morbid 
phenomena and manifests a greater inco-ordination 
of ideas than does the genuine lunatic who gives 
sensible replies to simple questions, whereas the 
simulator talks nonsense. For instance, if a simu- 
lator is asked his name, his answer will show no 
connection with the question. He will say, perhaps: 
"Did you bring the bill?" or if asked how old he 
is, will answer: "I am not hungry." 

Above all, in order to distinguish between dementia, 
idiocy, cretinism, and an imitation of these forms, 
a minute somatic examination is necessary. It 
should be remarked that in idiots, imbeciles, and 
cretins we generally find hypertrophy of the con- 
nective tissues, earthen hue, scanty beard, stenocro- 
taphy, malformations of the skull, ears, teeth, face, 
and especially jaws, and there are invariably an- 
omalies in the field of vision, lessened sensibility to 


touch and pain (which cannot be simulated since 
pain invariably produces dilatation of the pupils), 
meteoric sensibility, attacks of hemicrania, neuralgia, 
hallucinations, and even convulsions, epileptic fits, 
tremors disposing to propulsive forms, and, psycho- 
logically, absence of natural feeling, sadism, and the 
inability to adopt a regular occupation. 

When dealing with a simulation of epilepsy, it 
must be borne in mind that the epileptic always 
manifests salient degenerate characteristics, especially 
asymmetry of the face, skull, and thorax; and a care- 
ful investigation reveals neurosis of some kind in the 
family and trauma or serious illness in childhood. 
During the seizure, the pupil does not react (this 
cannot be simulated) or there is excessive mydriasis. 
The sudden pallor, and the exhaustion which follows 
the fit, are absent in the simulator, nor does he bite his 
tongue or injure himself in other ways. Further- 
more, he reacts at the application of ammonia, and 
as he is not in that state of asphyxia in which the 
epileptic lies during the fit, the closing of his mouth 
and nostrils likewise produces a reaction. 

Hysteria. Here the detection of shamming is more 
difficult, since deceit is a characteristic of this 
disease. Tests with metals, to which hysterical 
persons are extremely sensitive, suggestion and hyp- 
notism should be resorted to. The character of the 


crime should be specially considered, because, as we 
stated, the foundation of hysteria is an erotic one, 
and offences committed by the hysterical are nearly 
always of this nature in the means or the end. 

An examination of sensibility with suitable in- 
struments, and of reflex action, is to be recom- 
mended in all cases. 

Practical Application of Criminal 

The minute study of the criminal admits of 
infinite applications. It is generally used in deciding 
to which category of crime a particular offender 
belongs, whether he is a born criminal, a morally 
insane subject, an occasional criminal, or a criminal- 
oid ; but in certain cases the examination may be of 
value in establishing the innocence of an accused 
person, or in recognising in an accuser an insane 
individual whose accusation originates in some 
delusion and not in a knowledge of the facts. 

An Accused Man Proved Innocent by the 
Anthropological Examination 

On the 1 2th of January, 1902, a little girl of six, 
living at Turin, suddenly disappeared. Two months 
later, the corpse was discovered hidden in a case in a 


cellar of the very house the little victim had inhab- 
ited. It bore traces of criminal violence and the cloth- 
ing was in disorder. Various persons were arrested, 
among them a coachman named Tosetti, who had 
been seen joking and playing with the child on several 

Tosetti was of honest extraction, his grand- 
parents and parents having died at an advanced age 
(between sixty and ninety) without having mani- 
fested nervous anomalies, vices, or crimes. Tosetti 
himself, although fond of drinking, was rarely, if 
ever, intoxicated, and was an individual of quiet, 
peaceful aspect with a benevolent smile and serenity 
of look and countenance. His hair had become grey 
at an early age, and he was devoid of any degenerate 
characteristics except excessive maxillary develop- 
ment. [Height 5 feet, 7 inches (1.70 m.) ; weight, 158 
lbs. (72 kilogrammes) ; cranial capacity, 93 inches 
(153 1 c.c.) ; cephalic index, 84 (brachycephaly ; charac- 
teristic of the Piedmontese) ; tactile sensibility, 3 mm. 
left, 2.5 mm. right ; general sensibility, 83 right, 78 left; 
sensibility to pain, 55 right, 45 left. The sensibility 
was, therefore, almost normal without any trace of 
left-handedness. Analysis of urine — ^absence of earthy 
phosphates common to born criminals. Tendinous 
reflex action feeble, few cutaneous reflexes, no 
tremors. The field of vision was not much reduced 


but manifested a few peculiarities, due no doubt to 
the abuse of alcohol.] 

Psychologically, Tosetti appeared to be a man of 
average or perhaps slightly less than average intel- 
ligence. He was quiet, very respectful, not to say 
servile, entirely devoid of impulsiveness of any form, 
and averse to quarrels, on which account he was 
rather despised by his companions. His natural 
affections were normal, and he was a good son and 
brother; he was excessively timid and disconcerted 
by the slightest reproof from his employer. He 
was rather fond of wine, though not of liquors. His 
sexual instincts he had lost very early, a fact which 
caused his companions to indulge in many jokes at 
his expense. His stinginess bordered on avarice, and 
he had never changed his trade. 

During his trial he showed no resentment against 
anyone, not even the police and warders, of whom 
he said on one occasion, "They have treated me like 
a son." 

The examination proved beyond a doubt that 
Tosetti was not a born criminal, and was incapable 
of committing the action of which he was suspected 
— ^the murder of a child for purely bestial pleasure. 

To obtain stronger proof, my father adopted the 
plethysmograph and found a slight diminution of 
the pulse when Tosetti was set to do a sum; when. 


however, skulls and portraits of children covered 
with wounds were placed before him, the line regis- 
tered showed no sudden variation, not even at the 
sight of the little victim's photograph. 

The results of the foregoing examination proved 
conclusively that Tosetti was innocent of a crime 
which can only be committed by sadists, idiots, and 
the most degenerate types of madmen, like Vacher 
and Verzeni and all bestial criminals, who have 
reached the summit of criminality and unite in their 
persons the greatest number of morbid physical and 
psychic characteristics. 

A few months after my father had diagnosed this 
case, an assault of the same nature was committed 
on another little girl living in the same house. In 
this case, however, the victim survived and was able 
to point out the criminal — ^an imbecile, afflicted with 
goitre, stammering, strabismus, hydrocephaly, tro- 
chocephaly, and plagiocephaly, with arms of dis- 
proportionate length, the son and grandson of drunk- 
ards, who confessed the double crime and entreated 
pardon for the "trifling offence" since he had always 
done his duty and swept the staircase, even on the 
day he committed the crime. 

Other cases of this kind might be cited, but one 
instance will suffice. I may, however, mention a case 
in which my father demonstrated the innocence of an 


unfortunate individual who had been sentenced to 
ten years' penal servitude and released at the expi- 
ration of his sentence. By means of a thorough 
examination, which showed a complete absence of 
criminal characteristics, my father declared the man 
to be innocent of the crime for which he had been 
imprisoned; and subsequent investigations resulted 
in his rehabilitation and the discovery of the actual 

Accusation Proved to be False by the Anthro- 
pological Examination 

An individual named Ferreri suddenly disap- 
peared, and ten days later his corpse was found 
down a well. The evidence of several persons led 
to the arrest of the owner of the well, a certain Fis- 
sore, a man of very bad reputation, with whom 
Ferreri had been seen on the day of his disappearance. 

On being arrested, Fissore admitted having com- 
mitted the crime, but not alone, and named as his 
accomplices three others, Martinengo, Boulan, and a 
prostitute, named Ada. All three strenuously denied 
their guilt. They all appeared perfectly normal. 

But after a month of investigations, Martinengo, a 
tipsy porter of thirty-five, the son and grandson of 
drunkards, who at first had advanced an alibi, after 
being confronted several times with Fissore, admitted 


his complicity, and in the latter's absence added 
various details to his (Fissore's) version. 

The four accused persons were examined anthro- 
pologically with the following results : 

Boulan had the appearance of an honest country 
notary with broad forehead, precocious grey hairs 
and baldness, small jaws and a well-shaped mouth. 
He was a quiet man and had only once come into 
conflict with the law, but for an action which is not 
a crime in the eyes of an anthropologist (striking 
a carabinier who had ill-treated his father). He 
worked hard at his trade, which was that of a journey- 
man baker, and showed his kindly nature by sub- 
stituting for sick comrades. He showed great 
attachment to all his companions, relatives, and 
family, and was generally beloved. In short, he 
was an honest, hard-working man. His alibi was 
corroborated by several persons who had been 
playing cards with him on the evening of the crime. 

The second prisoner, Ada, although a prostitute, 
had never shown other criminal tendencies; she had 
adopted her calling in order to maintain her father 
and children, of whom she was very fond. 

Martinengo, who had admitted his complicity, 
had no previous convictions. He was, however, an 
individual of earthy hue, with precocious wrinkles. 
Height, 5 feet, 3 inches (1.60 m.);span of the arms, 


5 feet, 7 inches (1.70 m.) ; flattened, nanocephalous 
head, normal urine (phosphates 3.1), but anomalous 
reflex action and senses. Rigid, unequal pupils, 
tongue and lips inclined towards the right, shaky 
hand, astasia, aphasia, strong rotular reflex action, 
absence of cutaneous and cremasteric reflexes, 
illegible handwriting — a defect of long standing, 
since it was also found in writing dating back 
nine months before his arrest, uncertainty and 
errors Of pronunciation (bradyphasia and dysarthria) , 
complete insensibility to touch and the electric 
■current, which gave him no sensation of pain. On 
the other hand, he was subject to unbearable pains 
in various parts of the body. 

He was in the habit of laughing continually, 
even when reprimanded, or when sad subjects 
were mentioned. In spite of sharp pains in the 
epigastric region, he appeared to be in a strange 
state of euphoria or morbid bodily well-being, 
which prevented him from realising that he was 
in prison. He manifested regret when taken from 
his cell, where he said he had enjoyed himself 
so much in passing the hours in reading. Occa- 
sionally he had hallucinations of ghosts, lizards, 
mice, etc. 

At night, he seemed to suffer from acute mental 
confusion, which caused him to spring out of bed. 


Sometimes he was seized by a fit of chorea, followed 
by deep sleep. 

These phenomena led my father to the con- 
clusion that Martinengo was an inebriate in the 
first stage of paralytical dementia. 

The demented paralytic and the imbecile, like 
children, are easily influenced by the suggestions of 
others or their own fancies. Mere reading may pro- 
duce a strong impression on such minds, as in the 
case of the little girl who accused the Mayor of 
Gratz of assault, because she had listened to the 
account of a similar case; and the impression is inten- 
sified when, as in the case of Martinengo, it is pre- 
ceded by arrest, seclusion in a cell, the remarks of 
magistrates, warders, etc. 

In order to test Martinengo's susceptibili ' y to 
suggestion, my father told him that his cell was a 
room in the ''Albergo del Sole," the name of a hotel 
in his native town. At first the idea amused him, 
but after a few days he began to mention it to other 
persons and at last he firmly believed in it. A few 
months later, he was transferred in a state of paraly- 
sis to the asylum, and there he was fond of boasting 
of the " Albergo del Sole" where he had been staying 
a few months before, and where they had treated him 
to choice dishes, etc. 

We now come to Fissore, the accuser of the other 


three. Investigation of his origin showed that a 
male cousin had died raving mad, a female cousin 
had died in an asylum, a great-uncle on the maternal 
side had been crazy and had committed suicide; 
another cousin was weak-minded and subject to 
fits; another, a deaf-mute, had died in an asylum; 
another great -uncle was a drunkard and a loafer; 
one sister was an idiot, the other had run away 
from home, and a brother had been convicted several 
times. - 

Giuseppe Fissore had suffered from somnambu- 
lism and pavor nocturnus (fear of darkness) when 
quite a child; when a little older, he used to get up 
in the night, walk about and try to throw himself out 
of the window. At school he shunned the company 
of other boys and grew violently angry when called 
by his name. When ten years old, he was bitten 
by a mad dog and while being tended in Turin by 
the wife of an inn-keeper, had an epileptic seizure. 
At thirteen, he was seized by another fit, and in falling 
broke his arm. His restless and capricious character 
led him to change his occupation a great many times ; 
he became, in turn, baker, carpenter, forester, and 
farm-labourer. He appeared to have little affection 
for his mother and still less for his father, with whom 
he had come to blows on one occasion. At the age 
of twenty, in a quarrel with some companions, one 


of them struck him with a sickle and fractured his 
skull. He had been convicted several times of theft, 
assault, etc. 

He manifested only a few physical anomalies, — 
exaggerated facial asymmetry, due to the dispropor- 
tionate development of the left side of his skull, 
Carrara's lines in the palm of his hands, and a scar 
resulting from the fracture of his skull ; but the con- 
vulsions, the pavor nocturnus, the two fits, and other 
characteristics showed him to be an epileptic and 
an abnormal individual, and explained how he could 
have accomplished a murder single-handed, which 
was moreover rendered more easy by the fact that 
the victim had been drinking heavily. Nor was the 
crime without a motive, since the murdered man had 
been robbed of a large sum of money. The total 
lack of moral sense that distinguished Fissore 
explains why he should have sought to implicate 
three persons who had never wronged him for the 
pleasure of harming and enjoying the sufferings of 
others. In fact, during his trial he made many 
false accusations against the police merely for the 
sake of lying, which is characteristic of degenerates. 

Irrefutable alibis and a mass of evidence in 
favour of the three others corroborated the anthro- 
pological diagnoses and led to their acquittal, while 
Fissore was convicted of the crime. 


Simulation of Dementia and Aphasia by Morally 
Insane Subject 

In August, 1899, a certain E. M. (see Fig. 44) 
was removed from prison to an asylum. Although 
only eighteen, he had been convicted several times 
of theft and robbery. As a child he had always 
shown a strong dislike to school and was given to 
inventing strange falsehoods. In one instance, he 
asserted that he had killed and robbed a man, 
although it was known that he had not left the house 
during the time. 

After six months in prison, he began to show 
signs of mental alienation, with insomnia, loss of 
speech, and coprophagy. Whenever the cells were 
opened, he made wild attempts to escape by climbing 
up the grating. He was often seized with epileptic 

On the 30th of August, 1899, he was examined 
medically with the following results : 

Stature, 5 ft., i in. (1.55 m.); weight, 130 lbs. (59 
kilogrammes). Other measurements could not be 
obtained, owing to the subject's obstinate resistance. 
His skeletal constitution appeared to be regular and 
his body well nourished. His skull was br achy- 
cephalic, with strongly developed frontal sinuses, and 
fine, long, dark-brown hair. In the parieto-occipital 


region were a scar and lesion of the bone, the marks 
of a wound received during one of his dishonest 
adventures. He had a normal type of face with 
frequent contractions of the mimic muscles ; the hair- 
growth on the face scanty for his age. Extremely 
mobile eyes of vivacious expression, slight strabismus. 
An examination of the mouth showed a slight 
obliqueness of the palate, and the mucous membrane 
was rather pale. The colourless skin was inclined 
to sallowness. 

The functions showed an extraordinary degree of 
cutaneous anaesthesia and analgesia. In winter and 
summer the patient wore only a pair of trousers and 
a thin jersey covering his chest and leaving the arms 
bare; these he was fond of adorning with ribbons and 
medals. He was in the habit of slipping pieces of 
ice between his clothing and skin, and pricking him- 
self on the chin with a needle for the purpose of 
inserting hairs in the holes. On one occasion, one of 
the doctors came quietly behind him and thrust a 
needle rather deeply into the nape of his neck, 
apparently without producing any sensation. Vari- 
ous tests were made by pricking him with a needle 
when asleep, but without causing the slightest reflex 
movement on his part. 

Psychology. He was subject to strange impulses, 

which appeared to be irresistible. On one oc- 


casion he was caught cutting off the head of a cat, 
and at times he would devour mice, spiders, nails, 
excrements, and the sputum of the other patients. 
He committed acts of self -abuse publicly, with osten- 
tatious indecency; was in the habit of snatching at 
bright objects and frequently tore his clothes. His 
obstinate mutism procured him the nickname of 
''the mute," but he talked in his sleep and replied 
to questions by signs. 

At £rst, medical men judged him to be in the first 
stages of dementia, but the course of the symptoms 
and certain biological and psychic data obtained 
from the examination led them to the conclusion that 
the case was one of simulation by a morally insane 

In the first place, the patient's look expressed a 
certain amount of confusion and constant distrust; 
furthermore, it was noticed that the filthy, indecent, 
and cruel acts practised by him were committed only 
when he knew he was being observed. The warders 
often saw him retire to a quiet spot and vomit all 
the nauseous substances he had swallowed publicly. 
As soon as he believed himself to be secure from 
observation, the usual apathetic look on his face was 
replaced by one of vivacity and intelligence. 

In November of the same year, although he had 
not discarded his air of imbecility, he gave abundant 


proofs of intelligence. He helped the asylum barber, 
and showed skill and neatness in the way he soaped 
the other patients' faces, but if a doctor appeared 
on the scene, he would daub the soap clumsily in 
their eyes and mouths. In playing cards he showed 
no lack of skill and never missed an opportunity of 

All these facts pointed to shamming, and the 
suspicions of medical men were amply confirmed by 
his escape on the 26th of November. The manner 
in which he had prepared and executed this plan 
showed great astuteness on his part. Some time 
before, he had completely changed his clothes and 
dressed with a certain amoiuit of elegance. He left 
a note bidding an affectionate farewell to every- 
one. Later on, he confessed to a fellow-prisoner 
that he had prepared everything beforehand for his 
escape as soon as he should have sufficient money. 
He also asserted that he had felt pain when pricked. 

Some of the peculiarities manifested in this case, 
aphasia, insensibility, and coprophagia, have been no- 
ticed in other simulators, and it is easy to see why 
morally insane persons, who are naturally insensible 
and filthy in their habits, should adopt these pecu- 
liarities as traits of their insanity. The stubborn re- 
sistance offered by the subject to all attempts to apply 
diagnostic instruments, except those for measuring 


insensibility, may be explained by fear lest the 
simulation should, be detected. 

Simulators of insanity are generally psycho- 
physiologically, and often anatomically, degenerate, 
and their inferiority obliges them to resort to violence 
and trickery — the traits of savage races — to counter- 
balance their natural disadvantages. The simula- 
tion of insanity resembles in its motive the mimicry 
of certain insects which assume a protective resem- 
blance to other and noxious species. Naturally 
inferior individuals tend to imitate characters of a 
terrifying nature (psychic in this case) which serve 
to protect them and enable them to compete with 
others who are better equipped for the battle of life. 

Mental Derangement and Criminal Monomania 

Demonstrated by the Anthropological 


In June, 1895, Michele Balmi, aged 30, was 
arrested for stabbing Maria Balmi in the neck and 
hands. The deed had been committed in broad 
daylight and apparently without any motive, but the 
accused asserted that it was done in revenge, because 
the girls were always jeering at him. 

From evidence given, it appeared that far from 
insulting Balmi, the girls of the village were in the 
habit of avoiding him as much as possible on accoimt 


of his lubricity. The testimony of other witnesses, 
including the mayor of the place, showed that he 
was looked upon generally as a semi-insane person, 
because in a very short time he had squandered all 
his inheritance and had quite ceased to work. 

Somatic Examination. Body fairly well nour- 
ished, height 5 ft., 3 in. (1.60 m.), weight 150 lbs. (68 
kilogrammes) . Shape of the skull apparently normal 
but more exaggeratedly brachycephalic than the 
mean cephalic index of the Piedmontese, which is 85 ; 
probable capacity 90 cu. in. (1475 c.c), or slightly 
below that of a normal male skull, but proportioned 
to the low stature. 

General sensibility and sensibility to pain and 
touch more obtuse on the left, the general sensibility 
of the right hand being 68 and the left 8 1 . Dolorific 
sensibility, 35 right and 41 left; tactile sensibility, 
1.5 right, 3.5 left. The strength tested by the 
dynamometer showed 47 on the right and 54 on the 
left, which proved that the subject was left-handed. 

The field of vision manifested extraordinary ir- 
regularities, with serious scotoma on the inner side 
of the right eye; on the left side the eye showed only 
slight scotoma but there was myopia on the inner 

Psychic Examination. The behaviour of the sub- 
ject was very strange. From the very first day of 


his imprisonment he seemed to be perfectly calm and 
composed, as though nothing had happened. When 
asked how he found prison life, he only remarked: 
"I certainly thought the food was better." 

When asked why he had committed the crime, he 

"Crime indeed! I have only done my duty. 
Those women were always annoying me. Even in 
the night, they would come tapping at my window 
and calling me [acoustic hallucinations] and they 
insulted me because they wanted me to marry 

"Did they insult you during your absence from 

"Yes, they worried me all the time I was in 
America. It was no use changing my occupation. 
I tried everything; first I was a musician, then a 
barber, then I tried weaving, but they went on 
just the same, until I lost my situations through 
them and had to leave the country." 

"Have you ever been insane or suffered from 
pains in the head?" 

"At Chicago, all of a sudden, a doctor called on 
me, but I have never been mad and should be all 
right if those women would leave me alone. After 
all, I only wanted to give them a lesson. " 

He showed a profound and unshaken belief in his 


own assertions, such as is rare in simulators or in 
sufferers from melancholia, but is peculiar to mono- 
maniacs, especially if subject to delusions and con- 
vinced that they are the object of general persecution. 

Careful investigation of the crime showed that it 
was entirely without motives and had been com- 
mitted openly without any attempt to escape or to 
establish an alibi. It bore no resemblance to ordi- 
nary crimes and was clearly a case of monomania 
with hallucinations. This diagnosis was confirmed 
by the fact of the anomalies in the field of vision and 
sensibility, the acoustic hallucinations, and, psycho- 
logically, the anomalous nature of the affections and 
moral sense. 

It was impossible to suppose that any of these 
peculiarities had been simulated, because the subject 
was far too ignorant to be aware of the importance of 
hallucinations and alterations in the senses and 
affections. Moreover, his whole bearing was that 
of a man profoundly convinced that he had done 
his duty, and he had no motive for shamming to 
escape punishment, since it evidently never entered 
his head that he ran any risk of incurring it. He 
was sent to an asylum. 




The Man of Genius (L' Uomo di Genio) 

IN 1863, my father was appointed to deliver a series of 
lectures on psychiatry to the University of Pavia. His 
introductory lecture, "Genius and Insanity," showed the close 
relationship existing between genius and insanity; and the 
theme proved so absorbingly interesting to him that he threw 
himself into the study of the problem with all the ardour of 
which he was capable. 

Those who have never come into contact with mentally 
deranged persons may deem it absurd to mention genius 
and insanity in the same breath, and still more absurd to seek 
to demonstrate the existence of flashes of inspiration in insane 
persons. In the minds of most people, the word lunatic 
has from earliest childhood conjured up the vision of an in- 
coherent, stupid, or demented being, with wildly streaming 
hair, raging in paroxysms of maniacal fury, or sunk in im- 
becile apathy; not, certainly, a sharp-witted individual 
capable of reasoning logically. But the briefest of visits to 
an ordinary asylum will make it plain to any observer that 
such extreme types form only a very small minority. The 
greater number, when drawn outside the small circle of their 
delusions, often reason with greater acumen than normal per- 
sons; and their ideas, unhampered by stale prejudices which 



hinder freedom of thought, are remarkable for their original- 
ity. Fine fragments of prose and poetry and really beautiful 
snatches of melody, the work of inmates of lunatic asylums, 
were collected by my father and published, as special mono- 
graphs, in The Man of Genius; and his museum at Turin 
contains specimens of embroidery of marvellously beautiful 
design and execution, and carvings of extreme delicacy. 

The well-known cases of mathematical, musical, and ar- 
tistic prodigies and somnambulists with prophetic gifts, who 
nevertheless appear to be perfectly imbecile apart from their 
special talents, are interesting examples of the transition from 
madness to genius. The solving of equations of the fourth 
and fifth degree or mental calculations involving the multi- 
plication or division of a large number of figures, are difficult 
operations for normal persons; yet individuals barely able 
to read and write, and often afflicted with insanity or im- 
becility, have been known to possess marvellous mathema- 
tical faculties. Imualdi was a cretin, and Dase, Juller, 
Buxton, Mondeur, and Prolongeau, men of feeble intellect. 
Among the inmates of asylums, we may find cretins and idiots 
that are able to play on a whistle any melody they have 
heard. The drawings of cats, executed by a Norwegian 
cretin, have been deemed worthy of a place among the trea- 
sures of art-galleries and museums. Such cases prove that 
the possession of one highly developed faculty does not 
imply a corresponding development of all the intellectual 
powers. Unintelligent, unbalanced, or even mentally de- 
ficient women, when in a somnambulistic or hypnotic state, 
are able to predict future events, an impossible feat for normal 
persons, or to discover the whereabouts of objects hidden at a 
distance, a marvellous phenomenon, which can be explained 
only by presuming the existence of a far-seeing vision, and 
the working of a powerful synthetic process resembling the 
inspirations of genius. 

Although not a difficult task to prove the existence of 
traits of genius in mentally diseased persons, the bringing to 


light of instances of insanity in men of genius was a much 
simpler matter. 

These instances, carefully classified, form the longest 
and most important part of The Man of Genius, but it is 
not necessary to give space to any of these instances here. 
The proofs of the connection between genius and insanity 
were supplemented by data supplied by the physical examina- 
tion of a number of geniuses, compared with insane subjects, 
and a careful investigation of the ethnical, social,. and geo- 
graphical causes which influence the formation of both types. 
All the facts elicited demonstrated their complete analogy. 

But my father's studies did not stop short at the dis- 
covery of this analogy, or that of the sources whence the 
diverse varieties of genius spring, which is perhaps the most 
interesting part of the book, or even at the application of the 
new doctrines for the purpose of clearing up obscure points 
in history and shedding light on the lives of great men. He 
pursued his investigations until he found the keystone of the 
edifice reared by insanity and genius — epilepsy. 

It is a well-known fact that a great many men of genius 
have suffered from epileptic seizures and a still greater number 
from those symptoms which we have shown to be the equi- 
valent of the seizure. Julius Ccesar, St. Paul, Mahomet, 
Petrarca, Swift, Peter the Great, Richelieu, Napoleon, Flau- 
bert, Guerrazzi, De Musset, and Dostoyevsky were subject 
to fits of morbid rage; and Swift, Marlborough, Faraday, and 
Dickens suffered from vertigo. 

But it is in the descriptions written by men of genius of 
their, methods of working and creating that we find the strong- 
est resemblance to the different phenomena of epilepsy, 
which have already been described in detail in this work, 
in the part treating of the connection between epilepsy and 
crime. While writing his poems, Tasso appeared to be out 
of his senses; Alfieri felt everything go dark around him; 
Lagrange's pulse became irregular; Milton, Leibnitz, Cujas, 
Rossini, and Thomas could work only under special condi- 


tions. Others have encouraged inspiration by using those 
stimulants which provoke epileptic attacks. Baudelaire 
made use of hashish; and wine evoked the creative spirit in 
Gluck, Gerard de Nerval, Verlaine, De Musset, Hoffmann, 
Burns, Coleridge, Poe, Byron, Praga, and Carducci. Gluck 
was wont to declare that he valued money only because it 
enabled him to procure wine, and that he loved wine because 
it inspired him and transported him to the seventh heaven. 
Schiller was satisfied with cider; and Goethe could not work 
unless he felt the warmth of a ray of sunlight on his head. 
Many have asserted that their writings, inventions, and solu- 
tions of difficult problems have been done in a state of uncon- 
sciousness. Mozart confessed that he composed in his dreams, 
and Lamartine and Alfieri made similar statements. The 
Henriade was suggested to Voltaire in a dream; Newton and 
Cardano solved the most difficult problems in a similar man- 
ner; and Mrs. Beecher Stowe, George Eliot, and George 
Sand asserted that their novels had been written in a dream- 
like state, and that they themselves were ignorant of the ul- 
timate fate of their personages. In a preface to one of her books 
Mrs. Beecher Stowe even went to the length of denying her 
authorship. Socrates and Tolstoi declared that their works 
were written in a condition of semi-unconsciousness ; Leopardi, 
that he followed an inspiration; and Dante described the 
source of his genius in those beautiful lines: 

"... quando 
Amore spira, noto, ed a quel modo 
Che detta dentro, vo significando." 

"When love inspires, I write, 
And put my thoughts as it dictates in me." 

"I call inspiration," says Beethoven, "that mysterious state 
during which the whole world seems to form one vast har- 
mony, and all the forces of Nature become instruments, 
when every sentiment and thought resounds within me, a 


shudder thrills through my frame, and every hair on my head 
stands on end." 

These expressions show that when a genius attains to 
the fulness of his development and, consequently, to the 
widest possible deviation from the normal, he is more or less 
in that condition of unconsciousness which characterises 
psychic epilepsy and is represented by a series of unconscious 
psychic activities. 

Having demonstrated the frequent existence of a spice 
of insanity in the genius and flashes of genius in the insane, 
and, further, that geniuses are subject to a special form of 
insanity, my father, who was no mere theorist, but an admirer 
of facts and eager to turn them to account, considered next 
the possibility of making practical use of these discoveries. 
This he had no difficulty in doing. 

The prevalence of insanity in men of genius explained 
innumerable contradictions and mad traits in their lives and 
works, the true meaning of which had hitherto escaped 
biographers, who either ignored them altogether or covered 
reams of paper with vain attempts to represent them as 
inspirations or, at any rate, reasonable actions. It also 
explained the origin of some of the extraordinary errors com- 
mitted by great men; for example, the absurdly contradictory 
actions of Cola di Rienzi, who, after making himself master 
of Rome when the city was in a state of chaos, restoring 
peace and order, reorganising the army and conceiving the 
vast idea of a united Italy, ended his patriotic mission with 
a series of extravagances worthy of a madhouse. 

The fact that traits of genius are so often found in men- 
tally unsound persons and vice versa, permits us to suppose 
that lunatics have not infrequently held the destinies of 
nations in their hands and furthered progress by revolutionary 
movements, of which by reason of their natural tendencies and 
marked originality they are so often the promoters. 

It may seem a simple idea to class great men, who have 
exercised such an enormous influence on civilisation, with 


wretched beings, to whom no brilHant part has been allotted, 
and to estimate mad ideas at their true worth; yet it had 
never occurred to any one before. 

It is in the minor works of geniuses that the greater num- 
ber of absurdities abound, but they are little known to the 
general public, who are acquainted only with the master- 
pieces. Critics either ignored the absurdities and heresies 
contained in these works, or, dazzled by the genius of the 
author, made them the subject of infinite studies, in the con- 
viction that they were merely allusions or symbols demanding 
interpretation. All the defects of great men, all the extrava- 
gant notions written or spoken by them were covered with 
the magic veil of glory; and there was no innocent little child, 
as in Andersen's charming story, to tell the world of the 
nakedness of geniuses. 

Thus idiocy, epilepsy and genius, crimes and sublime 
deeds were forged into one single chain ; and the brilliant lights 
of some of its links, and the gloomy shadows thrown by others, 
were reduced to a play of molecules, like' those which trans- 
form carbon into a refulgent diamond or a sombre lump of 


Criminal Man {U Uomo Delinquente) considered in 

relation to Anthropology, Jurisprudence, and 


Although my father's theories on the male criminal have 
already been set forth in the volume now presented to the pub- 
lic, I feel that it would not be inappropriate to add to the de- 
scriptions of his other important works a brief survey of the 
original book for the use of readers desirous of studying the 
subject more thoroughly. 

The first volume is devoted to an investigation of the 
atavistic origin of crime among plants, animals, savages, and 


children. This is followed by an exhaustive study of the 
physical nature of the born criminal and the epileptic, modern 
craniology, the anomalies connected with the different classes 
of offences, the spine, pelvis, limbs, and physiognomy. The 
data given are based on the results obtained from the exam- 
ination of about 7000 criminals. 

In the study of the brain, the macroscopic anomalies 
in the convolutions and histological structure of the cerebral 
cortex of criminals and epileptics are the object of special 
consideration, since these anomalies solve the problem of the 
origin of criminality. 

Certain additional degenerate characters, the prehensile 
foot, wrinkles, lines on the finger-tips, the ethmoid-lachrymal 
suture, anomalies of dentition, the existence of a single 
horizontal line on the palm of the hand, etc., are further de- 
scribed, and a careful examination made of the field of vision 
and olfactory and auditory sensibility. 

The psychological examination of the criminal includes 
psychometry, the discovery of new characteristics, such as 
neophily, lack of exactitude, frequent existence of traits of 
genius, pictography, hieroglyphics, gestures, and the arts and 
crafts peculiar to the criminal. 

Finally, the different types of offenders — epileptic and 
morally insane criminals, political and passionate offenders, 
inebriate, hysterical, and mentally unbalanced (mattoid) 
criminals — are described separately and compared with each 
other, their diversities and analogies being thrown into 
relief. Around these types are grouped juridical figures of 
crimes, reproduced from psychiatric forms. These are fol- 
lowed by an examination of occasional or pseudo-criminals, 
criminaloids, latent criminals, and geniuses. 

The second volume treats of epileptics, and discusses, 
among other things, their ergography, psychology, grapho- 
logy, and anomalies of the field of vision. The studies on 
criminals of passion are supplemented by observations on 
suicides and political offenders, those on the insane include 


investigations of their age, psychology, sex, tattooing, 
heredity, and the difference between insane and ordinary 
criminals with respect to the motives that prompt their 
crimes, and the manner in which these are carried out, thus 
furnishing a new theory of sexual psychopathy. 

The third volume of the fifth edition treats of the etiology 
and cure of crime. 

In the part dealing with the etiology of crime, the geo- 
logical, ethnical, political, and economical factors determining 
or influencing criminality, as well as other causes, — density 
of population, food, alcoholism, sex, heredity, instruction, 
religion, etc., are examined statistically and sifted with critical 
care. For the first time, light is thrown on the influence 
exercised by criminality and wealth on the increase or de- 
crease of emigration. 

My father demonstrates by means of data, contributed for 
the most part by Bodio and Cognetti, that the importance 
attributed to poverty as a factor of criminality, especially by 
certain socialistic schools, has been largely exaggerated; while, 
at the same time, the fact that both wealth and education 
have their specific crimes, has been ignored by these schools. 

In dealing with collective criminality, my father merely 
repeats the original theories on the subject, expressed by him 
in 1872 and constantly confirmed since then. These theories 
have been utilised and illustrated by a number of writers: 
Ferri, Sighele, Ferrero, Le Bon, and Tarde. 

In the prophylaxis and cure of crime, not content with 
mere criticism of present methods, the new doctrines suggest 
practical and efficacious means of repressing crime. 

In view of the fact that criminality is assuming a changed 
aspect, adapted to the conditions of modern life and civilisa- 
tion, it should be combated by the very means furnished by 
progress, — the telegraph, press, all measures for fighting 
alcoholism, popular places of recreation, etc. 

For the prevention of crime, besides those measures de- 
signed to minimise the influence of physical and economic 


factors, — baths, sanitary regulations, clearing of forests, 
prevention of over-crowding, social legislation, limitation of 
wealth, graduated system of taxation, collective services, 
expropriation, etc., — my father suggests special measures for 
diminishing certain kinds of crime, — divorce for sexual 
offences, affiliation orders for infanticide and government of a 
truly liberal character, with freedom of the press and public 
opinion to combat political crime. He also emphasises the 
importance of provident and charitable institutions, specially 
for orphan and destitute children, to aid in suffocating germs 
of criminality, in view of the fact that it is to ragged schools 
and similar institutions that the decrease of crime in England 
is certainly due. 

Finally, with regard to the direct repression of crime, the 
new methods of identification devised by Bertillon and An- 
fosso, and all modern aids for the detection and apprehension 
of criminals, such as rapid communication and publicity, 
should be utilised in all countries where the police aspire to be 
considered scientific in their methods. 

A minute and intelligent individualisation of penalties is 
suggested as being far more efficacious than the uniform and 
injurious punishment of detention in prison; so that while 
society defends itself, it tends to improve the perverted 
faculties of criminals, or where improvement is impossible, to 
utilise them in their natural state, following the example set 
by nature in the transformation of injurious parasitical rela- 
tionships into pacific and mutually beneficial symbioses. 


The Female Offender {La Donna Delinquente); The 
Prostitute and the Normal Woman 

(In Collaboration with Guglielmo Ferrero) 

The first part of this book is devoted to a study of 
the normal woman, or rather the female of every species, 


beginning with the lowest strata of the zoological world and 
working upwards through the higher mammals and primitive 
human races to civilised peoples. 

As a result of this study, it is shown that although in 
the lower species, the female is the superior in intelligence, 
strength, and longevity, among the higher mammals she is 
surpassed in strength, intelligence, and beauty by the male, 
who is developed and perfected by the struggle for the pos- 
session of the female; while on the other hand, owing to her 
maternal functions, the female tends to a perpetuation of her 
physical and psychic characters ; and this prevents variation 
and evolution. 

The' same phenomenon is encountered in the human race. 
After a careful examination of the normal woman (height, 
weight, brain, nervous system, hair, senses, physiognomy, and 
intellectual and moral manifestations) , the authors arrived at 
the conclusion that the physical, anatomical, physiological, 
functional, and sensory characters of the female show a lower 
degree of variability than those of the male. 

In the same way, cases of monstrosity, degeneration, epi- 
lepsy, and insanity are less frequent in the female of the 
human race; and the percentage of genius and criminality is 
decidedly lower. The examination of the senses showed that 
the normal human female possesses a lower degree of tactile, 
olfactory, auditory, and visual sensibility than the male, 
and also, contrary to the hitherto accepted opinion, a dimin- 
ished moral and dolorific sensibility. Among savage peoples, 
the female appears to be less sensitive, — that is, more cruel 
than the male and more inclined to vindictiveness. 

But when we consider woman from the point of view of 
her maternal functions, her physiological, psychological, and 
intellectual nature assumes an entirely changed aspect; for 
maternity is the natural function of the female, the end to 
which she has been created. Lofty sentiments, complete 
altruism, and far-sighted intelligence develop all of a sudden 
when she becomes a mother. Maternity neutralises her 


moral and physical inferiority, pity extinguishes cruelty, and 
maternal love counteracts sexual indifference. Maternity 
stimulates her intelligence and sharpens her senses, explains 
and exalts those characteristics which have hitherto consti- 
tuted her inferiority until they become signs of superiority 
when considered from the point of view of the reproduction 
of the species. 

A lessened sensibility enables woman to bear with greater 
ease the pains inherent to childbirth; her refractoriness 
to all kinds of variation — also that of a degenerate nature — 
serves to correct morbid heredity and to bring back the race, 
which owes its continuation to her, to its normal state. 

Women commit fewer crimes than men; and offenders of 
the female sex, generally speaking, exhibit fewer degenerate 
characteristics. This is due in part to the tenacity with 
which the female adheres to normality, but also to the devia- 
tion caused in her criminality by prostitution. The history 
of this social phenomenon, and an examination of the anatomy 
and functions of the types representing this variation of 
criminality show that the prostitute generally exhibits a 
greater number of degenerate and criminal characters than the 
ordinary female offender. 

Prostitution is therefore the feminine equivalent of crim- 
inality in the male, because it satisfies the desire for licence, 
idleness, and indecency, characteristic of the criminal nature. 

In addition to prostitutes and ordinary offenders, who 
constitute the larger part of female criminality, there exists 
a small number of born criminals of the female sex, who are 
more ferocious and terrible even than the male criminal of 
the same type. The criminality of this class of women 
develops on the same foundation of epilepsy and moral in- 
sanity. The physical characters are those peculiar to the 
male born criminal — projecting ears, strabismus, anomalies of 
dentition, and abnormal conformation of the skull, brain, 
etc.; in addition, an absence of feminine traits. In voice, 
structure of the pelvis, distribution of hair, etc., she tends to 


resemble the opposite sex and to lose all the instincts peculiar 
to her own. 

From this brief description it may be gathered that this 
work on the female offender owes much of its interest to the 
light it throws on the normal woman. It is true that it casts 
doubt on many of the postulates of feminism; but, on the 
other hand, it lays stress on and exalts the many invaluable 
qualities characteristic of the female sex. 

The preface to the work concludes with the following 
remarks : 

"Not one of the conclusions drawn from the history and 
examination of woman can justify the tyranny of which she 
has been and is still a victim, from the laws of savage peoples, 
which forbade her to eat meat and the flesh of the cocoanut, 
to those modern restrictions, which shut her out from the ad- 
vantages of higher education and prevent her from exercising 
certain professions for which she is qualified. These ridiculous, 
cruel, and tyrannical prohibitions have certainly been largely 
instrumental in maintaining or, worse still, increasing her 
present state of inferiority and permitting her exploitation by 
the other sex. The very praises, not always sincere, alas, heaped 
on the docile victim, are often intended more as a preparation 
for further sacrifices than as an honour or reward." 


Political Crime {Delitto Politico) 
(In Collaboration with Rodolfo Laschi) 

The law of inertia governs nature. Every organism tends 
to adhere indefinitely to the same mode of life and will not 
change unless forced to do so. 

In the depths of the ocean, where existence, comparatively 
speaking, is uniform and undisturbed, we still find organisms 
allied to the species of pre-historic epochs. Those stars and 
suns, which are outside the sphere of action of other worlds, 


continue eternally their vertiginous gyrations in the trajec- 
tories assigned to them at the beginning of all things. 

Every progress in nature is the result of a struggle between 
the tendency to immobility, manifested by misoneism, or the 
hatred of novelty, and a foreign force which seeks to conquer 
this tendency. 

As in nature, misoneism dominates every human com- 
munity. It is most invincible in children and neuropathic 
and insane individuals, very powerful among barbarous 
peoples, and more or less disguised among civilised nations. 
But the world progresses : every day new conditions and new 
interests arise to combat the law of inertia and render impos- 
sible the realisation of the much-desired invariability; and 
progress, unwelcome yet inevitable, prevails. 

By political crime we understand every action which attacks 
the laws, the historical, economical, political and social tradi- 
tions of a nation or, in fact, any part of the existing social 
fabric, and which comes into collision with the law of inertia. 

Any attempt to obtain forcibly a change in existing sys- 
tems, to enforce by violence, for instance, the claims of free 
trade in a protectionist country, to plunge a nation into war 
or to incite workers to strike — all such actions represent the 
first steps in political crime, which reaches its climax in revolts 
and insurrections, and which victory alone can exalt above a 
host of blameworthy and base deeds, and crown with glory. 

Revolution is the struggle between the tendency to immo- 
bility innate in a community, and the force which urges it to 
move. Revolution is the historical expression of evolution 
and has always great and sublime ends in view. It is the 
struggle against an institution or a system which hinders the 
progress of a nation, never against any temporary oppression, 
no m-atter how unbearable it may be. The French revolution 
was not a struggle against an individual king or even a dynasty, 
but against the institutions of monarchy and feudalism; nor 
was Lutheranism a revolt against any pope, but against the 
corruption that had invaded the Roman Catholic Church. 


The Italian revolution was not directed against foreign rule, 
which indeed was mild and generous in some parts of the 
country, but it voiced an imperious demand for independence 
indispensable to every people that desires to become truly 

A revolution is therefore a slow, constant effort towards 
progress, preceded by propaganda. In some instances, it may 
last for years; in others, for centuries, until an entire nation, 
from the humblest citizen to the most wealthy patrician, is 
convinced of the necessity of the proposed change, and the 
habitual misoneism of the masses overcome, the existing order 
of things being defended by only a few, whose personal inter- 
ests are bound up in the old system. The ultimate triumph 
is inevitable, even when the leaders of the movement perish 
and the first risings are suffocated in blood; nay, death and 
martyrdom serve only to kindle greater enthusiasm for an 
ideal, if it be worthy to live. This becomes apparent when 
we consider the impulse given to Christianity by the cruci- 
fixion of its Leader, and to Italian independence by the death 
of the two brothers, Emilio and Attilio Bandiera. 

But bloody episodes are not always essential to the march 
of a revolution. The triumph of Hungary over Austria was 
almost a bloodless one, and that of Free Trade in England was 
effected practically without violence. 

Since a revolution implies a change in the ideas of the masses 
and not of a minority, be this of the elect or merely of tur- 
bulent spirits, revolutions are rare occurrences in history and 
their effects are lasting. In fact, after the death of Cromwell, 
feudalism was extinct in England. 

Like the pear which falls in autumn when the process of 
ripening has caused the gradual reabsorption of the juices 
in the stalk, revolution triumphs and the ancient system 
perishes when an entire people is persuaded of the necessity for 
a change. The fall of the pear, however, is not always the 
result of a slow physiological process, but may be caused by 
a gust of wind, which dashes it to the ground before the pulp 


has developed the sweet juices that are the sign of its maturity. 
In the same way, a revolt or an armed rising of men, whose 
demands are enforced by threats, may result in the carrying 
into effect of some programme of reform which is nevertheless 
too progressive or reactionary, or otherwise unsuited to the 

In fact, nearly every revolution is preceded by an insurrec- 
tion, which is suppressed by violence, because it seeks to realise 
premature ideals, and on this account is frequently followed 
by a counter-revolution, provoked by reactionary elements. 

Unlike revolutions, insurrections are always the work of a 
minority, inspired by an excessive love or hatred of change, 
who seek forcibly to establish systems or ideas rejected by the 
majority. Unlike revolutions, also, they may break out for 
mere temporary causes — a famine, a tax, the tyranny of some 
official, which suddenly disturbs the tranquil march of daily 
life ; in many cases they may languish and die without outside 

In practice, however, it is extremely difficult to distinguish 
a revolt from a revolution since the results alone determine 
its nature, victory being the proof that the ideas have per- 
meated the whole mass of the people. 

Political offenders, insurrectionists, and revolutionists are 
the men who seize the standard of progress and contest every 
inch of the ground with the masses, who naturally incline 
towards a dislike of a new order of things. The army of 
progress is recruited from all ranks and conditions — men of 
genius, intellectual spirits who are the first to realise the 
defects of the old system and to conceive a new one, synthesis- 
ing the needs and aspirations of the people; lunatics, en- 
thusiastic propagandists of the new ideas, which they spread 
with all the impetuous ardour characteristic of unbalanced 
minds; criminals, the natural enemies of order, who flock to 
the standard of revolt and bring to it their special gifts, 
audacity and contempt of death. These latter types accom- 
plish the work of destruction which inevitably accompanies 


every revolution: they are the faithful and unerring arm 
ready to carry out the ideas that others conceive but lack the 
courage to execute. 

Finally, there are the saints, the men who live solely for high 
purposes and to whom the revolution is a veritable apostolate. 
They rank high above the mass of mankind, from whom they 
are frequently distinguished by a singular beauty of coun- 
tenance, recalling ancient paintings of holy men. They are 
consumed by a passion for altruism and self-immolation, and 
experience a strange delight in martyrdom for their ideals. 
These men sweep the masses along with them and lead to 
victory with their propaganda, their inspired songs, and 
thrilling' accents. Tyrt^us was not the only poet who led 
soldiers to war: every insurrection has had its own songs, in 
which the love of a whole people is crystallised. 

Lunatics, unbalanced individuals, and saints are the pro- 
moters of progress and revolutions. These types have one 
thing in common — their passionate devotion to a sublime 
ideal and their love for humanity, which torments and 
crushes them in every case where they fail to attain that for 
which they have fought. But whether victorious or defeated, 
on the throne or on the scaffold, their efforts are not lost. 
Love is the spiritual sun of mankind. A ray shed by a human 
heart may spread far and wide, traversing unknown regions 
and sojourning with unknown races; and if powerless to 
revive some timid flower that has been numbed by the chilly 
night, it may still be stored up in the songs of a people, like the 
sunlight in green plants, to be retransformed at some future 
time into light and warmth. 


Too Soon! {Troppo Presto!) 

(A Criticism of the New Italian Penal Code) 

In this book, which was written during the interval between 
the publication of the new Penal Code and its sanction by the 


Italian Parliament, my father makes a rapid criticism of the 
Code, which he considered premature. Only a few decades 
had elapsed since the proclamation of Italian Unity; and the 
widely differing races that people the provinces constituting 
the kingdom of Italy had not been able in that brief period 
to acquire sufficient uniformity of customs to make a single 
code of laws desirable. 

But the book is not merely a criticism. It also contains 
an exposition of the fundamental principles that, according to 
my father, should underlie every serious and efficacious code 
of laws. It is this part that makes this somewhat hastily 
written book of such importance to criminologists; because 
it sets forth under the chief heads the juridical desiderata of 
the New School. 

The following brief extract gives an indication of the 
nature of these principles: 

1. The legislation of a country should always be regu- 
lated by the customs of the people whom it is to govern ; and 
although a system of different penal codes to suit the varying 
races and customs in the different regions of one State may 
offer certain disadvantages, they are always of less importance 
than the difficulties caused by a uniform code. 

2. The object of every code should be the attainment of 
social safety, not the careful weighing of guilt and individual 
responsibility. The worst and most dangerous criminals 
should be treated with the greatest severity; but indulg- 
ence should be shown towards minor offenders. The former 
should be segregated for life in prisons or asylums; the 
latter should never be allowed to become acquainted with 
prison life, but should be corrected by means of other penal- 
ties, which would not bring them into contact with true 
criminals, nor necessitate their temporary retirement from 
civil life. 

3. Certain reprehensible actions (abortion, infanticide, 
suicide or complicity therein, passionate crimes, duelling, 
swearing, adultery, etc.), which are not considered criminal 


by the general public, should be non-criminal in the eyes of 
the law. 

4. Born criminals, the morally insane, and hopeless recidi- 
vists, whose first convictions are not followed by any signs 
of improvement, should be regarded as incurable and con- 
fined for life in criminal lunatic asylums, relegated to penal 
colonies, or condemned to death. 

A second edition of this book was published shortly after- 
wards with the title Notes on the New Penal Code. In 
this edition, each of the most notable adherents of the new 
doctrines: Ferri, Garofalo, Ballestrini, Rossi, Mas^ Dari, 
Carelli, Caragnani, and others, discussed one special point of 
the code and suggested the necessary modifications. 


Prison Palimpsests (/ Palimsesti del Car cere) 

(A Collection of Prison Inscriptions for the Use of 

"Ordinary individuals, and even scientific observers, are 
apt to regard prisons, especially those in which the cellular 
system prevails, as mute and paralytical organisms, deprived 
of speech and action, because silence and immobility have 
been imposed on them by law. Since, however, no decree, 
even when backed up by physical force, avails against the 
nature of things, these organisms speak and act, and some- 
times manifest themselves in brutal assaults and murders; 
but as always happens when human needs come into conflict 
with laws, all these manifestations are made in hidden and 
subterranean ways. Walls, drinking- vessels, planks of the 
prisoners' beds, margins of books, medicine wrappers, and even 
the unstable sands of the exercise-grounds, and the uniform 
in which the prisoner is garbed, supply him with a surface 
on which to imprint his thoughts and feelings." 

With this paragraph my father begins the introduction 


to his book Prison Palimpsests, a collection of inscriptions 
and documents revealing the inmost thoughts of prisoners. 

In the first part, these inscriptions are classified under 
different headings: opinions on prison life, penalties, morality, 
women, etc., and according to the surface on which they are 
inscribed — books, walls, pitchers, clothing, paper, etc. 

For the psychologist and the student of degenerate types 
of humanity, this collection is of the greatest interest. The 
inscriptions are followed by a series of poems, autobiographies, 
and letters written by intending suicides, and criminals 
immediately before their execution. The comments made 
by criminals on the margins of books belonging to the prison 
library are especially interesting, because they enable the 
student to compare the effect produced on criminals by certain 
works with the impressions of normal individuals. The 
poems written by prisoners are equally interesting, since, 
like popular songs, they represent the intimate expression of 
the poet's desires and aspirations. 

In the second part, these prison inscriptions are compared 
with the remarks commonly found scribbled in the streets, on 
school benches, and on the walls of public buildings of all 
kinds — courts of justice, places of worship, and even those edi- 
fices in which the legislation of the State is framed. All the in- 
scriptions are classified according to the sentiments they express 
and the sex of the writer, distinction being made between 
the writings of prisoners and those of the ordinary public. 

The book closes with practical suggestions regarding the 
use to which similar collections might be put, as critical hints 
on the present methods of dealing with criminals and as an aid 
in investigating the characters of accused persons. 

All offenders, except the most degenerate types, born 
criminals or the morally insane, desire work or occupation of 
some kind, and books of an interesting character. This 
demand emanates from innumerable inscriptions on the walls 
of cells and the margins of prison books: "How unbearable is 
enforced idleness for a man who has always been accustomed 


to work and study, and in whom activity and the desire of 
some ennobhng pursuit are not quite extinct!" . . . "The 
nun of Cracow cried, 'Bread, bread!' but my voice pleads 
from my solitary cell, 'Work, work!'" 

"If jurists would leave their desks and libraries," says my 
father in conclusion, "put aside all pre-conceived notions, 
enter the prisons and study the problem of criminality not on 
the walls of the cells, but on the living documents they enclose, 
they would speedily realise that all reforms evolved and applied 
without the aid of practical experience are only dangerous 


Ancient and Modern Crimes {Delitti Vecchi e 
Delitti Nuovi) 

"This volume contains a collection of facts, sometimes, 
valuable, at other times merely curious, that I was able to 
glean during long years of study in the field of criminal anthro- 
pology and psychiatry. They all tend to show the great 
difference that exists between ancient and modern crimes." 

With these words my father begins the preface to this book, 
in which cases of recent crimes are described and compared 
with those committed in by-gone ages. 

It is divided into three parts. The first part contains a 
comparative and statistical study of criminality in Europe, 
Mexico, the United States, and Australia. 

The second part describes the careers of typical criminals 
of former times, such as the Tozzis of Rome, a family of 
anthropophagous criminals, and Vacher, Bailor, and other 
assassins of the Jack-the-Ripper type, whose perverted sexual 
instincts prompted them to murder a number of women and 
mutilate the corpses in a horrible fashion. 

The third part treats of those modern criminals, like 
Holmes and Peace, who accomplish their misdeeds in a 
refined and elegant manner, substituting for the more brutal 


knife or hammer, the resources of chemistry, physics, and 
modern toxicology. In other cases, some product of modern 
times, such as the motor-car or bicycle, forms the motive for 
the crime, or is of assistance in its accomplishment. 

"From the data we have been able to gather relating to 
crime in by-gone ages," continues my father in his preface, 
"we are led to conclude that crimes of a violent and bloody 
nature predominated exclusively in more barbarous times, and 
that fraudulent offences are characteristic of modern communi- 
ties. Violence is more primitive than trickery and must always 
precede it, exactly as a more barbarous state in which pro- 
perty is gained or maintained by force, at the point of the 
sword, precedes a state in which ownership is regulated by 
means of contracts; and crime always adapts itself to the 
prevailing customs. 

"The admirable work of Coghlan shows criminality in 
Australia to be of this latter type, as contrasted with its semi- 
barbarous nature in states like Mexico, and gives us a picture of 
the character it will assume a century or two later in Europe. 

"As the fundamental nature of the criminal has not changed, 
his actions are still of the same character; and violence and 
cunning are mingled or alternate in modern crime. But 
though the individual remains unchanged, he is subordinated 
to a more powerful factor than himself — modern progress. 
It is true that many modern crimes are facilitated by modern 
contrivances; but the same contrivances often furnish means 
for their defeat; and so we may foresee a time, perhaps not 
very remote, when such anti-social elements shall partially, if 
not totally, have disappeared." 


Diagnostic Methods of Legal Psychiatry {La Perizia 
Psichiatrica Legale) 

This work was not intended to introduce the doctrines of 
modern criminology to the general public, but as a text-book 


for the guidance of jurists, doctors, experts — in short, all those 
whose professions bring them into contact with criminals. 

It consists of two parts, the first of which contains about 
fifty cases diagnosed according to the new methods, and col- 
lected by the author of the work and his followers. These 
cases include all types of delinquents: born criminals, morally 
insane individuals, hysterical, insane, inebriate, and epileptic 
criminals, criminaloids, criminals of passion, etc. 

In each case, as the diagnosis was intended to serve a 
practical purpose, the criminal is examined physically, 
psychologically, and psychiatrically ; and his antecedents are 
investigated with great care. 

In the second part, "The Technical Aspect of Criminal 
Anthropology," a detailed description is given of the methods 
to be employed in the examination of a supposed criminal, the 
rules for determining to what class he belongs, the manner in 
which the physical examination should be conducted, a list of 
the necessary measurements, a description of the most suitable 
apparatus, and the mode of using them, the methods of pro- 
cedure in the interrogation of a criminal, in order to elicit 
useful information, and instructions for analysing his intel- 
lectual manifestations (handwriting, drawing, and work), 
movements, attitude, and gestures. 

Thanks to the methodical instruction imparted by this 
book, the inexperienced student is enabled to progress gradu- 
ally until he is in a position to conduct a complete psychiatric 
and medico-legal examination. 

The third part treats of the methods for discriminating 
between criminals and lunatics. The various forms of mental 
alienation are described in detail; and an examination of 
cases of feigned insanity shows that simulators of lunacy are 
generally mentally unsound. 

In the concluding part are discussed the various uses to 
which a careful diagnosis may be applied. 

The Appendix contains studies on the application of mental 
tests in medico-legal practice, and a glossary, alphabetically 


arranged, of the terms commonly employed in criminal 
anthropology, compiled by Dr. Legiardi-Laura. 


Anarchists {Gli Anarchici) 

The book opens with an examination of the theories of 
anarchists, from which the author arrives at the conclusion 
that in view of the importance generally conceded to economic 
ideals to-day and the universal abuse of power, these theories 
in reality are not so absurd as they are supposed to be. It is 
the methods adopted by anarchists for the realisation of their 
ideals that are both absurd and dangerous. 

"However valuable many of the proposals of anarchism 
may be," says the author, "they become absurd in practice; 
because all reforms should be introduced very gradually in 
order to escape the inevitable reaction which neutralises all 
previous efforts." 

The crimes of anarchists tend to mingle with ordinary crimes 
when certain dreamers attempt to reach their goal by any 
means possible — theft, or the murder of a few, often innocent, 
persons. It is easy to realise, therefore, why, with a few 
exceptions, anarchists are recruited from among ordinary 
criminals, lunatics, and insane criminals. Investigations 
made by the' author showed that 12 per cent, of the com- 
munards were of a criminal type, and this percentage was still 
higher in anarchists (31 per cent.). Of forty-five anarchists 
examined at Chicago, 40 per cent, had faces of a criminal cast. 
The majority of anarchists possess the passions and vices 
peculiar to ordinary criminals: impulsiveness, love of orgies, 
lack of natural affections and moral sense; and similar intel- 
lectual manifestations, such as slang, ballads, tattooing, 
hieroglyphics. But there are a greater number of genuine 
epileptic and hysterical subjects, lunatics, and indirect suicides 
among anarchists than among ordinary criminals; greater, 
too, is the proportion of criminals from passion. These truly 


heroic natures, profoundly convinced that the remedy for so 
many social evils lies in the murder of certain personages of 
high standing, who appear to bear the greatest share of respon- 
sibility for the existing system, do not hesitate to have recourse 
to violence when they deem it necessary; although it is dis- 
tasteful to them and although they have hitherto disas- 
sociated themselves from the excesses of their companions. 
The anarchists Caserio and Bresci were of this type. The 
crimes of these passionate criminals are always accomplished 
single-handed; they always surrender to the police im- 
mediately afterwards and make no attempt to defend 
themselves. On the contrary, when in court, they fre- 
quently give a lucid explanation of the motives that have 
induced them to commit their crimes and affront the penalty 
with stoicism. 

Such being the origin, and such the promoters of anarchism, 
it is evident that the methods for curing crimes deriving from 
this source should differ greatly from those used in suppressing 
ordinary crime. 

In spite of the fact that anarchists are frequently criminals, 
their ideas, although often absurd, imply a greater elevation 
of character than the cynical apathy in which the worst types 
of criminals are sunk. 

Instead of combating violence by violence and dealing 
out death sentences with a prodigality almost rivalling that of 
anarchists themselves, the authorities should segregate the 
most dangerous types or relegate them to distant islands, and 
adopt exile as a penalty for genuine criminals of passion. 
However, political liberty and some safety-valve, whereby 
lawless instincts may be turned into harmless channels, are 
the best methods for preventing anarchism. Constitutional 
government and freedom of speech and the press may go a 
long way towards combating anarchism; but the restoration 
of popular tribunates, like those to which Rome owed her 
balance and tranquillity, would be still more efficacious. If 
the governing bodies were to favour, instead of hindering, the 


formation of such institutions, which tend to spring up every- 
where and to voice the grievances of the people, just causes 
would not be abandoned exclusively to the advocacy of 


Lectures on Legal Medicine (Lezioni di Medicina 


This book, as the preface explains, was an attempt to 
present in a concise and popular form the theories of criminal 
anthropologists, on which the author had previously delivered 
a series of university lectures, and which he feared might have 
been erroneously or imperfectly understood by those of his 
hearers who were diffident or insufficiently prepared. 

It is divided into three parts, criminal anthropology, men- 
tal alienation, and the relation of serious offences (assault, 
murder, poisoning, etc.) to legal medicine. 

The first part contains a summing-up of the author's 
ideas on the atavistic and pathological origin of the criminal. 
He examines the equivalents of crime among plants, animals, 
savages, and children, describes the pathological causes which 
call forth atavistic instincts and alludes to other special kinds 
of degeneration peculiar to criminals. Finally, the anatomy, 
functions, and internal organs of the criminal are examined, and 
a careful study made of his intellectual manifestations and psy- 
chology. Similar studies on epileptics and the morally insane 
show that the three forms are only variations of the same 

We have an examination of occasional, habitual, and la- 
tent criminals, who represent an attenuated type of delin- 
quency, following on the investigations of these serious forms, 
admitting of correction, prevention, or cure. It develops 
much later in life than the vicious propensities of instinctive 


criminals or may even remain latent; yet at the root we 
always find the same anatomical and pathological anomalies, 
although less marked and fewer in number. 

The origin of passionate and political criminals is entirely 
diverse. Their criminality springs from an excess of noble 
passions, the impetuosity of which prevents them from exer- 
cising sober judgment and urges them to unpremeditated 
actions that afterwards cause them the deepest remorse. 

After a rapid survey of feminine criminality and its 
equivalent, prostitution, the author discusses juridical and 
social methods of curing crime. 

In the second part, mental alienation in relation to legal 
medicine, the author examines the anthropological and 
psychic characters of lunacy, which he divides into various 
classes: congenital mental alienation (cretinism, idiocy, imbe- 
cility, eccentricity) ; acquired mental alienation (mania, mel- 
ancholia, paranoia, circular insanity, dementia) ; mental 
alienation in conjunction with neurosis (epilepsy, hysteria, 
progressive general paralysis) ; alienation resulting from toxic 
influences (alcoholism, including forms produced by indulgence 
in absinthe and coca, saturnine encephalopathy, pellagra). An 
investigation is made into the etiology of these various forms 
with special reference to their juridical importance. 

The third part is devoted exclusively to medico-legal 
questions, to an examination of the various forms of violent 
death: by heat, electricity, starvation, hanging, strangulation, 
asphyxia, and poisoning, the symptoms which distinguish each 
type being carefully defined. This is followed by a study on 
wounds produced by firearms, pointed weapons or blades, on 
living and dead bodies, in order to determine the exact situa- 
tion of the wound and the manner in which it has been inflicted. 
Finally, we have an examination of the different forms of 

A separate lecture treats of sexual psychopathy and offences 
against morality ; and other lectures discuss questions of legal 
obstetrics: abortion, infanticide, and matrimonial questions. 



Recent Discoveries in Psychiatry and Criminal An- 
thropology and the Practical Application of 
these Sciences 

This volume was published in 1893. It contains a com- 
plete summary of the latest research of criminologists in 
jurisprudence, psychiatry, and anthropology, during the in- 
terval between the publication of the fifth and that of the 
last edition of Prof. Lombroso's Criminal Man. 

The research includes anthropological discoveries in the 
skull, skeleton, internal organs, and brains of criminals, as 
v/ell as others of a biological and functional nature. They 
are followed by a study of the methods to be employed for the 
cure and punishment of crime. 


Archivio di Psichiatria, antropologia criminale e scienze 
affini (Archives of Psychiatry, Criminal Anthropology 
and Kindred Sciences) . Thirty- two volumes. Published 
by Fratelli Bocca, Turin and Lausanne. 

L'Uomo Delinquente (Criminal Man). Fifth Edition. Vols. 
I, II and III of XXXV + 650, 576, and 677 pages respec- 
tively, with separate volume of plates, maps, etc. Boc- 
ca, Turin, 1906, 1907. 

Translations : 
L'Hommea criminel. Vols. I and II published 1895, Vol. Ill 
(Le crime, ses causes et rem^des) 1907, by F. Alcan, Paris. 
Die Ursachen und Bekampfung des Verbrechens. Bennuheler 
Verlag, Berlin, 1902. 

El Delito, sus causas y remedios. Libreria de Victoriano Sudrez, 
Madrid, 1902. 

La Donna Delinquente, la prostituta e la donna normale. 
(With Guglielmo Ferrero.) New Edition. Bocca, Turin, 

Translations : 
Das Weib als Verbrecherin tind Prostitute. Verlagsanstalt und 
Druckerei, Hamburg, 1894. 

The Female Offender. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895. 


II Delitto Politico e le Rivoluzioni. (With R. Laschi.) Bocca, 
Turin, 1890. 

Translations : 
Das politische Verbrechen und die Revolutionen. Two vols. 
Le Crime politique. Two vols. F^lix Alcan, Paris, 1890. 

Le piu recenti scoperte ed applicazioni della psichiatria ed 
antropologia criminale. Bocca, Turin, 1893. 

Translations : 
Neue Fortschritte in den Verbrecherstudien. Wilhelm Friedrich, 
Leipzig. 1894. 

Neue Fortschritte der kriminellen Anthropologic. Marhold, 
Halle, 1908. 

Neue Verbrecherstudien. Marhold, Halle, 1908. 
Nouvelles recherches de Psychiatric et d'Anthropologie criminelle. 
Alcan, Paris, 1890. 

Gli anarchici. Bocca, Turin, 1894. 

Translations : 
Die Anarchisten. Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei, Hamburg, 1895. 
Les Anarchistes. E. Flammarion, Paris, 1896. 

La Perizia psichiatrico-legalew Bocca, Turin, 1905. 

Lezioni di Medicina legale. Bocca, Turin, 1900. 

Troppo Presto! Appunti al nuovo codice penale. Bocca, 

Turin, 1888. 
Palimsesti del carcere. Bocca, Turin, 1888. 

Translations : 
Kerker Palimpsesten. Hamburg, 1899. 
Les Palimpsestes des prisons. Stock, Lyon. 

La Delinquenza e la rivoluzione francese. Treves, Milan, 


Criminal Anthropology. (Twentieth Century Practice of 
Medicine, Vol. XII, pp. 372-433.) New York, 1897. 

Luccheni e I'antropologia criminale. Bocca, Turin, 1899. 

Ilcaso Olivo. (With A. G. Bianchi.) Libreria Editrice 
Internazionale, Milan, 1905. 

Ricerche sui fenomeni ipnotici e spiritici. Unione Tip. 
Edit. Turin, 1909. 

L'Uomo di genio. Sixth Edition. Bocca, Turin, 1894. 

Translations : 
L'Homme de g^nie. Alcan, Paris, 1889. 
The Man of Genius. Walter Scott, London, 1891. 

Genio e degenerazione. Second Edition. Remo Sandron, 
Palermo, 1908. 

Translations : 
Entartung und Genie. Wiegand, Leipzig, 1894. 

Nuovi studi sul genio. Two vols. Sandron, Palermo, 1902. 

Translations : 
Neue Studien iiber Genialitat (Schmidt's Jahrbiicher der gesammten 
Medizin, 1907). 

Pazzi e anormali. Lapi, Citta di Castello, 1890. 

In Calabria. Niccolo Giannotta, Catania, Sicily, 1898. 

L'Antisemitismo e le scienze moderne. Roux, Turin, 1894. 

Translations : 
Der Antisemitismus und die Juden. Wiegand's Verlag, Leipzig, 
L'Antisdmitisme. Giard et Briere, Paris, 1899. 

Problemes du jour. Flammarion, Paris, 1906. 
II momento attuale in Italia. Casa Editrice Nazionale, 
Milan, 1905. 


Grafologia. Ulrich Hoepli, Milan, 1895. 

Translations : 
Graphologie. Reclam, Leipzig. 

Trattato profilattico e clinico della pellagra. Bocca, Turin, 

Translations : 
Die Lehre von der Pellagra. Oscar Coblenz, Berlin, 1898. 


Affection for animals, 62, 63 

Affections, of born criminals, 27 

■ — in children, 133 

— examination of, 222-225 

Age and crime, 102, 151, 152 

Akkas, tribe of Central Africa, 15 

Alcoholism, and hallucinations, 30, 

■ — chronic, 81, 142-143 
— physical characteristics, 81, 82 
— psychic disturbances caused by, 

— results of, 83 
- — apathy and impulsiveness of 

victims, 84, 85 
— crimes peculiarly due to, 85, 142 
— course of the disease, 86 
— hereditary, 138 
— important factor in criminality, 

138, 141 
— temporary, 141-142 
— and epilepsy, 142 
— effect on handwriting, 229 
Algometer, 25, 246 
Anfossi's tachyanthropometer, 237 
— craniograph, 239 
Angelucci (Actes du Congres d' An- 

thropologie), case of epileptic 

moral insanity, 69 
Anomalies, of criminals, 7, 10-24, 

— of morally insane, 53 
Anthropology, criminal, defined, 5 
— most important discovery of, 137 
— practical application of, 262-279 
Aphasia, simulation of, 272 ff., 275 
Arson, 121 

Arts and industries of criminals, 44, 

Assaulters, 25 
Asylums for criminal insane, 205- 

Asymmetry, 13, 53, 242, 261 
Atavism, 18, 135, 136 
Atavistic origin of the criminal, 8, 

9, 19, 48, 135 

Australia, probation system in, 189, 

Austria, percentage of illegitimates 
among criminals, 144 

— percentage of women among 
criminals, 151 

Auto-illusion, 108, 109 

Aymaras, the, an Indian tribe of 
South America, 6 

Azara, d' {Travels in America, 1835), 

Azeglio, Massimo d' {Remini- 
scences), 148 


Bain, 130 

Ballve, Senor, director of Peni- 
tenciario Nacional of Buenos 
Ay res, 201 

Bank of Rome case, 106, 107 

Barnardo, Dr., work for orphans 
and destitute children of London, 

Beccaria, Cesare, founder of Classi- 
cal School of Penal Jurisprudence, 

Bedlam, 207 
Belgian Government, agricultural 

colony founded at Meseplas by, 





Belgium, probation system in, 191 

Bernard, experiments with dogs, 60 

Blasio, de, explanation of hiero- 
glyphics of theCamorristi, 43, 44 

Booth, General, 156, 157 

Born criminals, 3-51 

— percentage of, among criminals, 
8, 100 

— physical characteristics, 10-24, 


— sensory and functional peculiari- 
ties, 24-27 

— affections and passions, 27, 28 

— moral characteristics, 28-40 

— intelligence, 41 

— relation to moral insanity and 
epilepsy, 58-73, 87, 259 

— professional characteristics, 71 

— difference between epileptics and, 

— no criminal scale among, 152 

— institutions for, 205 #. 

Bosco and Rice (Les Homicides aux 
Etats-Unis), on crime in Massa- 
chusetts, 173 

Brigands, 35, 113-115, 215 

Broadmoor, 207, 208 

Brockway, 192 

Buchner, on instincts in bees and 
ants, 142 

Burglars, 25 

Burton {First Footsteps in East 
Africa), 128 

Cabred, Professor, 203, 204 
Camorra, 44, 48, 117, 230 

Camorristi, hieroglyphics of, 43, 44 

■ — dress, 230 

Canada, homes for destitute child- 
ren, 160 

Capital punishment, 208, 209 

Carrara, Francesco, 4 

Carrara, Prof. Mario, on neglected 
children, 130 

Cephalic index, 10, 241 

Children, destructive tendency, 65 

— instincts, 130 ff. 

■ — affection, 133 

— effect of environment on, 144 

— institutions for destitute, 156^. 

— methods of dealing with, 176 ff. 

— susceptibility to suggestion, 226 

Children's courts. See Juvenile 

Cinsedus, 231, 244 

Classical School of Penal Juris- 
prudence, 4, 9 

Classification of criminals, 8 

Colour-blindness, 26, 249 

Confession of criminaloids, 105 

Connon, Richard, 53 

Coprophagia, 274, 275 

Corporal punishment, 191 

Cretins, phj^sical characteristics, 
227, 234, 236, 260 

— dress, 231 

Crime, origin of the word, 125 

— among primitive races, 125 ff. 

— in civilised communities, 134 

— atavistic origin, 135, 136, 137 

— aetiology of, 136 

— pathological origin, 137 

— organic factors, 137 

— percentage of, among Jews, 140 

— social causes, 143 

— prevention, 153 ff. 

— curability, 153, 156 

Criminal, the, defined, 3 

Criminal type, 24, 48 

Criminaloids, 100-12 1 

— percentage of, among criminals, 8 

— physical characteristics, 102, 251 

— psychological distinctions be- 
tween born criminals and, 102 ff. 

— cases of, 103, 104 

— reluctance to commit crimes, 105 

— easily induced to confess, 105 

— moral sense and intelligence, 106 

— natural affections and sentiments, 

— social position and culture, 107 ff. 

— clever swindlers, 108 

— development into habitual crim- 
inals, 111-113 

— and certain crimes, 121 

— punishment, 186 

Cruelty, 39 

Cynicism, 31 


Dalton (Descriptive Ethnology of 

Bengal), 129 
Danish prisons, 195 



"Darwin's tubercle," 15, 235 

Dejerine, 138 

Delirium, 98 

Dementia, 76, 227, 259, 260 

— simulations of, 272 ff. 

Despine's method of punishment, 

i95> 196 
Destitute children, care of, 156 
— institutions for, 1 56 ff. 
Dewson, Miss Mary, 189 
Disease and its relation to crime, 

8, 220 
Don Bosco, the Black Pope, 157, 173 
Drunkenness, temporary, 141. See 

also Alcoholism 
Du Bois-Reymond's apparatus, 25, 

Dundrum, Ireland, 207 
Dynamometer, 252, 253 


Economic conditions, relation to 

crime, 150 
Edtication, and moral insanity, 143 
— and crime, 143, 149 
— in Elmira Reformatory, 193 
"Educational Alliance," for Jewish 

emigrants, 172 
Egypt, theft in, 128 
Elmira Reformatory, 192-194 
England, crime in, 173 
— juvenile court in, 176 
— probation system in, 189, 191 
— asylums for criminal insane, 207 
Environment, 8, 144, 145 
Epilepsy, ancient application of 

the term, 58 
— characteristic phenomena, 58 
— mild forms, 59, 60 
— multiformity, 59, 60, 87 
— psychological characteristics, 61 
— effect on character, 62 
— relation to crime, 69, 71 
— motory and criminal, 71 
— psychic, 88 
— ambulatory, 89, 90 
— alcoholic psychic, 142 
Epileptics, brain cells of, 22 
— relation to born criminals and 

morally insane 58 ff., 87 
— physical anomalies common to 

criminals and, 60, 61, 234 

— psychological characteristics, 61 ff. 

— cases, 64-65 

— criminal, 66-69, 70> 259 

— difference between born criminals 
and, 72 

— non-criminal, 89-92 

— obsessions, 226 

— dress, 230 

— special offences, 259, 260 

Epileptoids, loi 

Erotomania, 96 

Esthesiometer, 245 

Examination of criminals, 219-257 

— antecedents and psychic individ- 
uality, 220-222 

— intelligence, 222 

— affections, 222-225 

— morbid phenomena, 225-226 

— speech, 226-228 

— memory, 228 

— handwriting, 228-230 

— dress, 230-231 

— physical, 231-245 

— sensibility, 245-251 

— movements, 251-255 

— functions, 255 

—table of, 255-257 

Fines, 187, 191 

Fisherton House, 207 

Forgers, 46, 140, 245 

France, percentage of illegitimates 
or orphans among minors ar- 
rested, 144 

— system for minor offences, 187 

— probation system in, 191 

Frank, Francis, 223 

French Panama Scandal, 106, 107 

Gambling, 40 

Games, 40 

Garofalo, Senator, his table of 

penalties, 210 
George, Henry, 164 
George Junior Republic, 160, 164- 

Germans, ancient, theft among, 

128, 129 
Gilmour {Among the Mongols), 130 



Gipsies, 140 
Goitre, 220, 244 


Habitual criminals, 44, 110-115, 198 

Hallucinations, 30, 82-84 

Hamburg, percentage of illegiti- 
mates among prostitutes, 144 

Handwriting, 228-230 

Harwick, quoted, on sense of right 
and wrong, 33 

Hebrew Sheltering Guardian So- 
ciety in New York City, 160-164 

Heredity, indirect, 137 

—direct, 57, 137-139 

— influence of, 144, 220, 235 

Hieroglyphics, 43, 44 

Homicide, among criminaloids, 121 

— in Italy, 140 

— relation of temperature to, 145 

— in Massachusetts, 173 

— and melancholia, 259 

Hydrosphygmograph, 223 

Hypnotism, loi 

Hysteria, 92-99 

— relation to epilepsy, 92 

— physical and functional charac- 
teristics, 93 

— psychology, 94 

— susceptibility to suggestion, 95, 

— and delirium, 98 

— sensibility to metals, 248, 261 

— special offences of, 259 

— simulation of, 261 

Idiots, impulses, 74, 258 

— speech, 227 

— physical characteristics, 235, 260 

Idleness, 40, 150 

Illegitimates, percentage of, among 

criminals, 144 
Imbeciles, 75, 259, 260, 269 
Imitation, 146 
Immigration and its relation to 

crime, 147, 148 
Imprisonment, 154, 186, 187 
Impulsiveness, 36, 85 
Incendiaries, 26 
Indemnity, 191 

India, infanticide in, 126 

— theft in, 129 

Industrial Homes of the Salvation 

Army, 168 
Inebriates, crimes peculiar to, 85-86 
— hallucinations of, 226 
Infanticide, 121, 126, 127 
Insane, the morally, relation to born 

criminals, 53, 57, 58 
—cases, 53 #. _ 

— relation to epileptics, 61, 6^ff. 
— professional characteristics, 71 
— institutions for, 206 
— dress, 230 

— special offences, 259, 260 
Insane criminals, 74-99, 234 
— charac t e r i s t i c s distinguishing 

them from habitual criminals, 77 

— antecedents, 78 
— motives, 78 
— typical cases, 79 
— institutions for, 205 ff. 
— two classes, 208 
Insanity, moral, 56, 65-69, 272 ff. 
— criminal, 74-99 
— genuine and simulation of, 260, 

276. See also Lunacy 
Institutions, for destitute children, 

— for destitute adults, 167 
— for women criminals, 180 
— for minor offenders, 185 
— for habitual criminals, 198 
— for born criminals and the morally 

insane, 205. See also Reforma- 
tories, Penitentiaries 
Intellectual manifestations of born 

criminals, 42-44 
Intelligence, of born criminals, 41 
— of criminaloids, 106 
— examination, 222 
Invulnerability of criminals, 64 
Italy, hot-beds of crime in, 140 
— percentage of illegitimates among 

criminals, 144 
— percentage of women among 

criminals, 151 
— institutions for orphans, 157 

Jackson, on epileptic fits, 60 



Jews, percentage of crime among, 

Jukes family, the, 138, 139 
Juridical criminals, 115-117 
Juvenile courts, 176, 178, 179 
Juvenile offenders, 139 
— methods of dealing with, 176 ff., 



Kleptomania, 141 

Kowalewsky (Archivio di Psichi- 

atria, 1885), 63 
Krafft-Ebing, 84 
— quoted, on somnambulism and 

epileptics, 63 

Labour, in reformatories, 166, 199 
— enforced, profitable to the State, 

202, 203, 213 
Lacassagne, 47 
Ladelci (// Vino, 1868), 37 
Landolt's apparatus for testing the 

field of vision, 249 
Lewisohn, Mr., 161 
Lombroso, Cesare, discovery of 

median occipital fossa, 6 
— new theory as to criminals, 52, 56, 

— view of hysteria and epilepsy, 99 
— on percentage of criminals of 

inebriate families, 138 
— on criminal associations, 146 
— Criminal Man, 9, 288-291 
— Modern Forms of Crime, 9 
— Recent Research in Criminal An- 
thropology, 9, 309 
— Prison Palimpsests, 9, 155, 300- 

— The Female Offender, 180, 291-294 
— Crimes, Ancient and Modern, 173, 

— The Man of Genius, 283-288 
— Political Crime, 294-298 
— Too Soon, 298-300 
— Diagnostic Methods of Legal Psy- 
chiatry, 303-305 
— Anarchists, 305-307 
• — Lectures on Legal Medicine, 307- 

Luciani, experiments of, 59 
Lunacy, general forms, 74. See also 


Maccabruni, Dr. (Notes on Hidden 
Forms of Epilepsy, 1886), 89 

Mafia, 117, 230 

Magnaud, 187 

Maniacs, 76, 259 

Manzoni (Promessi Sposi), on in- 
stinctive tendency to law-break- 
ing, 152 

Marey's tympanum, 224 

Marro {Annalidi Freniatria, 1890), 

Massachusetts, crime in, 173 

— probation office in Boston, 189 

— reformatories at Boston, 190 

Mattoids, 228, 229 

Median occipital fossa, discovery 
of, 6 

Melancholia, 75, 227, 252, 259 

Memory, 228 

Mendacity, 96^8 

Meseplas, agricultural colony at, 
202, 203 

Metchnikoff, 14 

Meteoric sensibility, 26 

Modern School of Penal Jurispru- 
dence, 4, 5, 9, 153. 155, 156 

Monomaniacs, impulses and mo- 
tives, 77 

— cases, 78, 276 _^. 

— handwriting, 228, 230 

— dress, 231 

— examination of, 276 jf. 

Moral sense, of criminals, 28-40 

—of criminaloids, 106 

Moreau, 130 

— (De I' Homicide chez les enfants, 
1882), 131 

Morel, 53, 98 

Mulhausen {Diary of a Journey 
from the Mississippi to the Pacific) , 

Murder, among gipsies, 140 

— ramong Jews, 140 

— in United States, 145 

Murderers, physical characteristics, 
16, 18, 26, 46, 236 

— moral sense, 29, 38 



Murderers, imprisonment, 182 
— dress, 230 


Newspaper reports of crimes, in- 
fluence of, 146, 147 

Nothnagel's thermo-esthesiometer, 


Obermayer's methods in prisons, 
195, 196 

Obscenity, 63 

Occupations suitable for prisoners, 
197, 203, 204 

"Open Door," the, penal institu- 
tion in Buenos Ayres, 203, 204 

Orange, 208 

Orgies, 40 

Osmometer, 251 

Ottolenghi, discoveries of, 61 

Paralysis, 75, 226, 229 

Paralytic, demented, 269 

"Paranza, " 48 

Paresis, 82, 83 

Parkinson's disease, 252 

Passion, criminals of, 117-121, 186 

Patrizi, 224 

"Patta, La" 41 

Pears {Prisons and Reform, 1872), 

Pederasts, 232 

Pellagra, 76, 150 

Pelvimeter, 239 

Penal codes, 176, 178 

Penal colonies, 201-204 

Penalties, 153 

— table of, proposed by the Modern 
School, 210-212 

Penitenciario Nacional of Buenos 
Ayres, 198-203 

Penitentiaries, 194-198 

Penta, on percentage of criminals of 
inebriate families, 138 

Perez, (Psychologie de I' enfant), quo- 
ted, on anger in children, 131 

Perth, Scotland, 207 

Peruvian Indians, 6, 7 

Physical anomalies of criminals, 7, 
10-24, 231-245 

Pictet, 125 

Pictography, 43 

Pinel, 37, 53 

Plethysmograph, 223, 225, 264 

Poisoners, 31, 182 

Political offenders, 186 

Polyandry, 127 

Population, density of, effect on 
criminality, 146, 148 

Positive School of Penal Jurispru- 
dence. See Modern School of 
Penal Jurisprudence 

Pott, 125 

Poverty and crime, 150 

Precocity in crime, 222 

Preventive methods, 175 ff. 

Primitive races, tattooing among, 45 

— views of crime, 125-129, 134 

— death penalty among, 209 

Prison life, effect upon criminals, 
148, 149, 153, 154, 186 

Probation Office in Boston, 189 

Probation system, 178, 179, 188-191 

Professions and crime, 149, 150, 221 

Progeneismus, 13, 60, 243 

Prognathism, 7, 12 

Prostitution, 144, 151, 180 

Proverbial sayings concerning crim- 
inals, 49, 50 

Prussia, percentage of illegitimates 
among criminals, 144 

Psychology of born criminals, 27 ff. 

Ptosis, 14, 236 

Punishments, 185 

— corporal, 191 

— capital, 208, 209 


Race and crime, 139, 140 
Recidivists, 46, 222 
Reformatories, 182, 192 
Reformatory Prison for Women at 

South Framingham, near Boston, 

Remorse, 29 
Repentance, 29 
Rescue Homes of the Salvation 

Army, 169 
Revue dAntJiropologie, 1874, 128 
Ribaudo, Brancaleone, 138 



Richet, experiments with dogs, 59, 

— on hysteria, 95 
Roncoroni, discoveries of, 21, 22, 61, 

Rosenbach, experiments of, 59 
"Rota, La" 41 

Salvation Army, 167-170 
Samt, on epilepsy, 88, 90, 91 
San Stefano, island, convict popu- 
lation, 34 
Sensibility, general, 24, 245, 246, 277 
— to touch and pain, 25, 245, 246, 

— to the magnet, 26 
— meteoric, 26 
— of the senses, 26, 249-251 
— localisation of, 247 
— to metals, 248 
Simulation, 97, 261, 272 
Sisterhoods founded by Rabbi Gott- 

heil, 170-172 
Skin diseases, 232 
Skull, formations, 10-12 
— measurements, 239-242 
Slang, 28, 33, 42, 152 
Smugglers, 114 
Snow {Two Years' Cndse round 

Tierra del Fuego), 129 
Social causes of crime, 143 
Somatic examination, 260, 277 
Somnambulism, 63, 141 
South America, institutions for 

orphans, 157 
— Salvation Army in, 170 
— reformatories, 192 
— penal institution in Buenos Ay res, 

Spain, percentage of women among 

criminals, 151 
Spencer (Principles of Ethics, 1895), 

Strabismus, 14, 236 
Strength, 27, 252 

Suggestion, susceptibility to, 95, 269 
— examination of, 226 
— case, 269 
Suicide, 119, 259 
Swindlers, characteristics, 16, 18, 20, 

25, 46, 231, 245, 246 

— percentage among criminaloids, 

— cases, 109 
■ — imprisonment of, 182 
Sydenham, on hysteria, 95 
Symbiosis, 212-215 

Tachyanthropometer, 237 

Tamburini, quoted, 37 

Tardieu (De la Folie, 1870), 85 

Tattooing, 39, 45-48, 232 

Temperature, relation to crime, 145 

Theft, instincts of, 37, 38 

— petty, 117 

— percentage of, among criminal- 
oids, 121 

— among primitive races, 128-130 

— and paralysis, 259 

— and epileptics, 260 

Thieves, physical characteristics, 
20, 46, 150, 236, 243-244 

— cases, 28, 29, 37, 38 

— moral sense, 32-35 

— handwriting, 230 

Tissie (Les alienes voyngeurs, 1887), 
88 _ 

Tonnini, 62, 64, 65 

Traumatism, 140, 141 

Treachery, 34 


United States, institutions for des- 
titute children, 160 
— percentage of crime in, 173, 174 
— probation system in, 178, 189, 190 
— juvenile courts in, 178 
— reformatories in, 192 


Vanicek, 126, 127 
Vanity, 35 
Vidocq, 35 
Vindictiveness, 38 
Volumetric glove, 224 
Volumetric tank, 223 




Weber's esthesiometer, 245 
Where the Shadows Lengthen, 168 
Women, percentage of criminality 

among, 151, 180 
— nature of criminality among, 181, 

Work, motive force of every insti- 
tute, 197 

Wormian bones, 12 

Zakka Khel, criminal tribe in India, 

129, 140 
Zehen, experiments of, 59 
Zino, 41 


Edited by Edward Lee Thorndike, Ph.D., and 
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" Dr. Newman's discussions of bacteria and disease, of immunity, of antitoxins, and 
of methods of disinfection, are illuminating, and are to be commended to all seeking in- 
formation on these points. Any discussion of bacteria will seem technical to the uniniti- 
ated, but all such will find in this book popular treatment and scientific accuracy happily 
combined."— The Dial. 

7.— A Book of Whales. By F. E. Beddard, M.A.,F.R,S. Illustrated. 

8°. $2.00. 

" Mr. Beddard has done well to devote a whole volume to whales. They are worthy 
of the biographer who has now well grouped and described these creatures. The general 
teader will not find the volume too technical, nor has the author failed in his attempt to 
produce a book that shall be acceptable to the zoologist and the naturalisto" — N. V. Times. 

8.— -Comparative Physiology of the Brain and Comparative Psy- 
chology. With special reference to the Invertebrates. By Jacques 
LoEB, M.D., Professor of Physiology in the University of Chicago. 
Illustrated. S°. $1.75. 

_ " No student of this most interesting phase of the problems of life can afford to remain 
in ignorance of the wide range of facts and the suggestive series of interpretations which 
Professor Loeb has brought together in this volume." — Joseph Jastrow, in the Chicago 

9. — The Stars. By Professor Simon Newcomb, U.S.N., Nautical Al- 
manac Office, and Johns Hopkins University. 8". Illustrated. Net. 
$2.00. (By mail, $2.00.) 

"The work is a thoroughly scientific treatise on stars. The name of the author is 
sufficient guarantee of scholarly and accurate work." — Scientific American. 

10. — The Basis of Social Relations. A Study in Ethnic Psychology. By 
Daniel G. Brinton, A.M., M.D., LL.D., Sc.D., Late Professor of 
American Archaeology and Linguistics in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania ; Author of " History of Primitive Religions," " Races and 
Peoples," " The American Race," etc. Edited by Livingston Far- 
RAND, Columbia University. 8°. Net, $1.50 (By mail, $1.60.) 

" Professor Brinton his shown in this volume an intimate and appreciative knowledge 
of all the important anthropological theories. No one seems to have been better acquainted 
with the very great body of facts represented by these sciences." — .i4 w. jfoumal 0/ 

1 1. —Experiments on Animals. By Stephen Paget. With an Intro- 

duction by Lord Lister. Illustrated. 8°. Net, $2.00. (By mail, $2.20.) 

"To a large class of readers this presentation will be attractive, since it gives to them 
in a nut-shell the meat of a hundred scientific dissertations in current periodical literature, 
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12.— Infection and Immunity. With Special Reference to the Prevention 
of Infectious Diseases. By George M. Sternberg, M.D,. LL.D., 
Surgeon-General U. S. Army (Retired). Illustrated. 8°. Net, fi.7?. 
(By mail, $1.90.) 

■" A distinct public service by an eminent authority. This admirable little work shoulc* 
be a part of the prescribed reading of the head of every institution in which children d 
youths are gathered. Conspicuously useful." — N. V, Times. 

13. — Fatigue. By A. Mosso, Professor of Physiology in the University 

of Turin, Translated by Margaret Drummond, M.A., and W. B. 

Drummond, M.B., CM., F.R.C.P.E., extra Physician, Royal Hospital 

for Sick Children, Edinburgh; Author of "The Child. His Nat-'-e 

and Nurture." Illustrated. 8°. Net, $1.50. 

" A book for the student and for the instructor, full of interest, also for the intelligent 
general reader. The subject constitutes one of the most fascinating chapters ii» 'tbeluS' 
tory of medical science and of philosophical xessaic}a,"~'yorkskire Post- 

14. — Earthquakes. In the Light of the New Seismology. By Clarente 
E. DuTTON, Major, U. S. A. Illustrated. 8°. Net, $2.00. (By 
mail, $2.20.) 

" The book summarizes the resuics of the men who have accomplished the great 
cnings in their pursuit of seismological knowledge. It is abundantly illustrated and if 
iiils a place unique in the literature of modern science." — Chicago Tribune, 

15. — The Nature of Man. Studies in Optimistic Philosophy. By Elii. 
Metchnikoff, Professor at the Pasteur Institute. Translation and 
introduction by P. Chambers Mitchell, M.A., D.Sc. Oxon. Illus- 
trated. 8°. Net, $1.50. 

"A book to be set side by side with Hu„ .jy's Essays, whose spirit it carries a step 
further on the long road towards its goal." — Mail and Express. 

16. — The Hygiene of Nerves and Mind in Health and Disease. By 

August Forel, M.D., formerly Professor of Psychiatry in the Uni- 
versity of Zurich. Authorized Translation. 8°. Net, $2.00. (By 
mail, $2.20.) 

A comprehensive and concise summary of the results of science in its cnosen field. 
Its authorship is a guarantee that the statements made are authoritative as far as the 
statement of an individual can be so regarded. 

17. — The Prolongation of Life. Optimistic Essays. By IElie Metch- 
nikoff,' Sub-Director of the Pasteur Institute. Author of " The 
Nature of Man." etc. 8°. Illustrated. Net, $2.50. (By mail, $2.70.) 
Popular Edition. With an introduction by Prof. Charles S. AIinot. 
Net, $1.75. 

In his new work Professor Metchnikoff expounds at greater length, in the light of 
additional knowledge gained in the last few years, his main thesis that human life is not 
only unnaturally short but unnaturally burdened with physical and mental disabilities. 
He analyzes the causes of these disharmonies and explains his reasons for hoping that 
they may be counteracted by a rational hygiene. 

18. — The Solar System. A Study of Recent Observations. By Prof. 
Charles Lane Poor, Professor of Astronomy in Columbia University. 
8°. Illustrated. Net, $2.00. 

The subject is presented in untechnical language and without the use of mathemai.cs. 
Professor Poor shows by what steps the precise knowledge of to-day has been reached and 
explains the marvellous results of modern methods and modern observations. 

19. — Climate — Considered Especially in Relation to Man. By Robert 
DeCourcy Ward, Assistant Professor of Climatology in Harvard 
University. 8°. Illustrated. Net, $2.00, 

This volume is intended for persons who have not had special training in the tech- 
nicalities of climatology. Climate covers a wholly different field from that included in 
the meteorological text-books. It handles broad questions of climate in a way which has 
not been attempted in a single volume The needs of the teacher and student have been 
kept constantly in mind. 

20. — Heredity. By J. Arthur Thomson, M.A., Professor of Natural 
History in the University of Aberdeen ; Author of "The Science of 
Life," etc. 8". Illustrated. Net, $3.50. 

The aim of this work is to expound, in a simple manner, the facts cf heredity and 
inheritance as at present known, the general conclusions which have been securely 
sstablished, and the more important theories which have been formulated. 

21.— Age, Growth, and Death. By Charles S. Minot, James Still- 
man Professor of Comparative Anatomy in Harvard University. 
President of the Boston Society of Natural History, and Author of 
'* Human Embryology," " A Laboratory Text-book of Embryology," 
etc. 8°. Illustrated. 

This volume deals with some of the fundamental problems of biology, and presents 
. series of views (the results of nearly thirty years of study), which the author ha( 
eoiTelated for the first time in systematic form. 

22.— The Interpretation of Nature. By C. Lloyd Morgan, LL.D., 
F.R.S. Crown 8vo. Net, $1.25. 
Dr,_ Morgan seeks to prove that a belief in purpose as the causal reality of which 
nature is an expression is not inconsistent with a full and whole-hearted acceptance of 
the explanations of naturalism. 

23.— Mosquito Life. The Habits and Life Cycles of the Known Mos- 
quitoes of the United States ; Methods for their Control ; and Keys for 
Easy Identification of the Species in their Various Stages. An account 
based on the investigation of the late James William Dupree, Surgeon- 
General of Louisiana, and upon the original observations by the Writer. 
By Evelyn Groesbeeck Mitchell, A.B., M.S. With 64 Illustra- 
tions. Crown 8vo. Net, $2.00. 
This volume has been designed to meet the demand of the constantly increasing 
number of students for a vyork presenting in compact form the essential facts so far made 
known by scientific investigation in regard to the different phases of this, as is now con- 
ceded, important and highly interesting subject. While aiming to keep within reason- 
able bounds, that it may be used for work in the field and in the laboratory, no portion 
of the work has been slighted, or fundamental information omitted, in the endeavor to 
carry this plan into effect. 

24. — Thinking, Feeling, Doing. An Introduction to Mental Science. 

By E. W. Scripture, Ph.D., M.D., Assistant Neurologist Columbia 

University, formerly Director of the Psychological Laboratory at Yale 

University. 189 Illustrations. 2d Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 

Cro'wn 8vo, Net, $1.75. 

" The chapters on Time and Action, Reaction Time, Thinking Time, Rhythmic 

Action, and Power and Will are most interesting. This book should be carefully read 

by every one who desires to be familiar with the advances made in the study of the 

mind, which advances, in the last twenty-five years, have been quite as striking and 

epoch-making as the strides made in the more material lines of knowledge." — Jour. 

Amer. Med. Ass'n., Feb. 22, iqo8. 

25. — The World's Gold. By L. de Launay, Professor at the itcole 

Superieure des Mines. Translated by Orlando Cyprian Williams. 

With an Introduction by Charles A. Conant, author of "History of 

Modern Banks of Issue," etc. Crown Svo. Net, $1.75, 

M. de Launay is a professor of considerable repute not only in France, but among 

scientists throughout the world. In this work he traces the various uses and phases 

of gold ; first, its geology ; secondly, its extraction ; thirdly, its economic value. 

26. — The Interpretation of Radium. By Frederick Soddy, Lecturer 

in Physical Chemistry in the University of Glasgow. Svo. With 

Diagrams. Net, $1.75. 
As the application of the present-day interpretation of Radium (that it is an element 
undergoing spontaneous disintegration) is not confined to the physical sciences, but has 
a wide and general bearing upon our whole outlook on Nature, Mr. Soddy has presented 
the subject in non-technical language, so that the ideas involved are within reach of the 
lay reader. No effort has been spared to get to the root of the matter and to secure 
accuracy, so that the book should prove serviceable to other fields of science and investi- 
gation, as well as to the general public. 
27. — Criminal Man. According to the Classification of Cesare Lom- 

broso. Briefly Summarized by his Daughter, Gina Lombroso Ferrero. 

With 36 Illustrations and a Bibliography of Lombroso's Publications 

on the Subject, 

In preparation : 
The Invisible Spectrum. By Professor C. E. Mendenhall, University 

of Wisconsin. 
The Physiology and Hygiene of Exercise. By Dr. G. L. Meylan, 

Columbia University. 

Other volumes to be announced later